Zoom Video Communications Obliterates Quarterly Earnings Estimates

Zoom Video Communications, perhaps the ultimate corporate poster child of Covid-19, posted another blockbuster quarter of financial results.

The videoconferencing specialist said its profit in the quarter ending October 31 came in at 99 cents a share, well ahead of Wall Street analysts’ consensus expectation for 76 cents. Revenue more than quadrupled to $777.2 million, far better than analysts’ forecast for $694 million.

Shares in Zoom finished the trading day at $478.36, up more than 1% but then fell back 5% after the earnings results were released. The stock has rocketed more than 600% in 2020 as the company’s technology has become a bedrock of the pandemic operating environment for companies, schools and institutions of every stripe.

The start-up faces a number of established rivals, however. Microsoft, whose Teams offering competes with Zoom, recently ditched the 40-minute time limit on subscribers to the free tier. Teams is also planning to soon allow users to stay connected along with up to 300 other participants. Zoom has capped free meetings at 40 minutes for no more than 100 participants.

While Zoom stock has been a nearly constant gainer through the year, recent news about Covid-19 vaccines has rewarded shares in many traditional building blocks of the economy. In late October and early November Zoom stock plunged more than 30% as some investors shifted their bets toward more proven companies leading the overall economic recovery.

Meta Marshall, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, expressed her view in a note to clients last week that Zoom’s stock will have plenty of upside even after remote work starts to decline. “While a vaccine does change the outlook for how many employees will be working from home by the end of 2021, it doesn’t change the fact that in 2020, most employees remain at home (at least for a good portion of the week),” she wrote.

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