COVID-19

Zoom to report earnings for first time since pandemic hit

Erika Beras Jun 2, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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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

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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