COVID-19

Zoom to report earnings for first time since pandemic hit

Erika Beras Jun 2, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Guests attend a Virginia couple's nuptials over Zoom. The platform is used for everything from work meetings and school lessons to weddings. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Zoom to report earnings for first time since pandemic hit

Erika Beras Jun 2, 2020
Guests attend a Virginia couple's nuptials over Zoom. The platform is used for everything from work meetings and school lessons to weddings. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Zoom will report its first-quarter earnings Tuesday. The last time the videoconferencing company reported financial results was before the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything about the way we live — and before so many of us started living our work, school and social lives online. Zoom has facilitated everything from job interviews and virtual funerals to the filming of TV episodes and movies.

Back in early March, Carnegie Mellon University professor Michael Smith says, Zoom was “the cute little videoconferencing platform” that was mostly used by workplaces.

Then came the COVID-19 crisis. “Now it’s almost a verb,” Smith said.

The company has seen a huge surge in users since the pandemic hit, with 300 million daily Zoom meeting participants now. It seems like Zoom is everywhere.

“I don’t think it was thought of like this in its infancy,” said Ian Greenblatt of J.D. Power.

Rapid growth has meant occasional slowdowns and security issues like “Zoombombing.” John Freeman of CFRA says Zoom has to figure out how it can lock people into using its application longer-term.

Third Bridge analyst Scott Kessler says there’s a lot of competition out there from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

“They’re all focused on a whole host of other things. Zoom seems to be squarely focused on the opportunity at hand,” Kessler said.

That’s one advantage Zoom has. It really only does one thing, and we all know what that is.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.