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Nov 30, 2020

Zoom projects revenue that would top analysts’ estimates

Christine Poole discusses Zoom

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Zoom Video Communications Inc. gave a revenue forecast for the current quarter that topped analysts’ estimates, in a sign of steady customer demand for the videoconferencing service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue will be as much as US$811 million in the period that ends in January, the San Jose, California-based company said Monday in a statement. Analysts, on average, projected US$719 million. The company’s sales forecast, at the high end, suggests 330 per cent growth from a year earlier -- a slight decline year-over-year from the previous two quarters. Shares fell about 4 per cent in extended trading.

Zoom’s slowing revenue expansion in the current period highlights investors’ concerns that 2021 won’t be as favorable for the software maker as this year, when the company gained customers forced to work and go to school remotely. Zoom’s stock has jumped sevenfold this year, heightening questions about whether the company is overvalued.

In the fiscal third quarter, Zoom said sales increased 367 per cent to US$777.2 million from a year earlier. Profit, excluding some items, was 99 cents a share. Analysts projected revenue of US$693.4 million and adjusted profit of 75 cents.

Zoom’s stock has become a barometer of the pandemic economy, rising when COVID-19 lockdowns emerge and falling on good news about vaccines. Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan has tried to diversify Zoom’s capabilities for large enterprises, small- and mid-sized businesses and individuals so the company can grow after the coronavirus is controlled and greater numbers of workers return to their offices. The software maker in October announced OnZoom, a platform for hosting paid classes, lessons and charity events. It also debuted Zoom Apps, a way to more tightly integrate Zoom with other applications used during video conferences.

Zoom said it had 433,700 customers with more than 10 employees at the end of the quarter and 1,289 contributing more than US$100,000 in trailing 12-month revenue. Both figures topped analysts’ average estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.