What’s going on?
Zoom reported better-than-expected earnings earlier this week, but investors seem to think last year’s most hip-happening communications platform is already a relic of the past.
What does this mean?
Now that kids and adults alike are getting back to school and offices, investors are worried that Zoom’s once-strong growth is already starting to dry up. And while the company’s revenue did grow 54% last quarter compared to the same time last year, that was a serious slowdown from the 191% growth of the quarter before. That deceleration looks set to continue, with Zoom forecasting just 31% growth this quarter. It makes sense, then, that the company is buying firms that specialize in other areas. It announced its first major target last month: Five9, a cloud software provider that helps other companies run their online customer support operations – the sort of business that’ll boom even when the world fully opens up again.
Why should I care?
For markets: Investors are hard won, easily lost.
Zoom sits alongside Netflix and Peloton as one of the stocks that benefited most from the pandemic. But just like Netflix and Peloton, investors have been quick to dump Zoom’s stock now those gains have started to vanish: they sent its shares down more than 15% on Tuesday, meaning its stock is now worth less than it was at the start of the year (tweet this). That’s a pretty dramatic reversal of fortunes considering its value almost quintupled in 2020…
Zooming out: Robinhood has an existential crisis.
At least Zoom’s entire business model isn’t at risk, which can’t be said for another pandemic winner: commission-free trading platform Robinhood makes the bulk of its revenue selling its customers’ orders to market makers in what’s known as “payment for order flow”. But the head of a US stock market regulator said this week that she wouldn’t rule out an outright ban on the practice – a threat that saw Robinhood’s shares tank 7%.