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Zoom's massive growth amid COVID-19 set to continue after pandemic, analysts say


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Zoom's massive growth amid COVID-19 set to continue after pandemic, analysts say

Multiple analysts upgraded their ratings on Zoom Video Communications Inc.'s stock after the company delivered blockbuster earnings driven by customers flocking to its video conferencing app amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Zoom added more than 183,000 enterprise customers with more than 10 employees in the March quarter, up 353.7% year over year. The company ended the quarter with a total of 265,400 enterprise customers with more than 10 employees. Customers who spent more than $100,000 grew to a total of 769 in the quarter, up 89.9% from 405 a year ago.

Although Zoom attributed the massive influx of customers to the pandemic, which has forced companies around the globe to transition to remote work, analysts think there are growth opportunities for the video conferencing platform beyond the crisis.

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"It is truly without exaggeration [that] we say these are the most impressive financial results we've seen in software, and likely one of the best in the history of enterprise software," D.A. Davidson & Co. analyst Rishi Jaluria wrote in a note to clients.

Jaluria believes the company is primed to maintain its momentum after lockdowns are lifted and upgraded Zoom's stock to buy from neutral. He also raised his price target to $250 from $125,

"We believe Zoom has cemented itself as the de-facto standard for video conferencing and that office reopenings could provide more momentum to Zoom, due to competitive displacements," Jaluria said.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.

FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi also upgraded Zoom's stock to "outperform" from "sector perform" and increased his price target to $250 from $130.

"Although the removal of some shelter-in-place rules and the possible production of a vaccine in the next 12-18 months could reduce some of the allure of stay-at-home stocks, we believe that much of this trend is permanent as many employees are actually more productive at home and as many employers can enjoy considerable savings from paying less rent on commercial real estate," Seyrafi wrote in a note to clients.

Similarly, RBC Capital Markets analyst Alex Zukin upgraded Zoom's stock to "outperform" from "sector outperform" and increased his price target to $250 from $125. He expects the company to cross-sell its new Zoom Phone cloud-calling service with its Zoom Rooms video-conferencing offering.

"We believe this sets up Zoom to be a global unified communications provider that integrates voice and video for the large enterprise, the consumer, and everyone in between," Zukin wrote. "Furthermore, we see a significant untapped opportunity to create tailored video solutions to address a variety of new use cases including telehealth, education, and consumer."

Zoom's stock surged following the upgrades and closed at an all-time high of $223.87 at market close on June 3, up more than 200% from $68.04 at market close Dec. 31, 2019.

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With the increased usage has come strong criticism over security issues, however. The complaints prompted the company to create a 90-day plan to ramp up its privacy and security features, including the integration of end-to-end encryption, which protects video calls by making them accessible to only the organizers of a Zoom call and those they invite.

Zoom CEO and Chairman Eric Yuan noted the end-to-end encryption option will only be available to business or enterprise customers and that the company has no plans to offer it to free users. He said the company wants to work together with FBI and local law enforcement to hold people accountable who use Zoom for a "bad purpose."

"Zoom's end-to-end encryption plan balances the privacy of its users with the safety of vulnerable groups, including children and potential victims of hate crimes," a Zoom spokesperson said. "We plan to provide end-to-end encryption to users for whom we can verify identity, thereby limiting harm to these vulnerable groups. Free users sign up with an email address, which does not provide enough information to verify identity."

Zoom on June 2 reported fiscal 2021 first-quarter revenue of $328.2 million, up 169% from $122 million in the prior-year quarter. GAAP net income for the quarter totaled $27 million, or 9 cents per share, up from $198,000, or zero cents per share, a year ago. Non-GAAP net income was $58.3 million, or 20 cents per share, up from $8.9 million, or 3 cents per share a year ago. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate for the quarter was 1 cent on a GAAP basis and 10 cents on a normalized basis.

Zoom expects second-quarter revenue to be in the range of $495 million to $500 million and non-GAAP EPS to be in the range of 44 cents to 46 cents. For fiscal year 2021, the company expects revenue to range from $1.78 billion to $1.8 billion and non-GAAP EPS to range from $1.21 to $1.29.