Financial Performance

Zoom Crushes Estimates With ‘Incredible’ Quarter

The work-from-home and study-from-home booms resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic drove Zoom's first-quarter sales up by 169%.
Matthew HellerJune 3, 2020

Zoom crushed quarterly earnings estimates and doubled its revenue guidance, indicating the videoconferencing company believes it can sustain growth even after people are no longer staying home due to coronavirus restrictions.

One analyst, Needham’s Richard Valera, called Zoom’s first-quarter results “incredible,” telling CNBC, “Never have I seen something of that magnitude in my 20 years of covering technology.”

Zoom’s sales soared 169% to $328.million amid the work-from-home and study-from-home booms resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Adjusted net income rose to $58.3 million, or $0.20 per share, from $8.9 million, or $0.03 per share, in the year-ago period.

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Analysts had expected earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $202.7 million. In the previous quarter, revenue grew a relatively modest 78% year over year.

“We were humbled by the accelerated adoption of the Zoom platform around the globe in Q1,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in a news release. “The COVID-19 crisis has driven higher demand for distributed, face-to-face interactions and collaboration using Zoom.”

The company also stunned Wall Street by increasing its guidance for the full year to $1.21 to $1.29 in earnings per share on $1.78 billion to $1.80 billion in revenue from the March forecast of earnings of 42 cents to 45 cents on $905 million to $915 million in revenue.

“Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg described the company as taking a ‘conservative approach’ with its guidance, not typically something a CFO says about that type of increase,” MarketWatch reported.

Steckelberg also told analysts that it was “too early” to tell what the impact would be of stay-at-home orders being lifted but noted that “most people are taking their time to go back to work” even after restrictions are eased.

Zoom’s first-quarter costs were higher than expected as it added third-party computing capacity to handle the swell of new users, shrinking gross margin to 68.4% to 82.7% in the previous quarter.

“Moving forward, as we build additional capacity in our own data centers, we expect to gain some efficiencies, bringing gross margin back toward the mid-70s in the next several quarters ahead,” Steckelberg said.

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