Which companies are have made pandemic profits during the spread of COVID-19?
Many states are returning to their ‘new normal’, and re-opening while other states remain in in lockdown for a period of time – During the pandemic, we’ve seen the economy take obvious hits, as some businesses switch to delivery models, and other un-essential operations remain closed due to a spread of the virus.
The way consumers navigate the economy has changed (and will most likely change in the coming months, perhaps even years) some businesses have actually benefited from the pandemic.
Which companies have benefited the most making money? While not all companies are public about their success or struggles, we’re looking at stock prices and reported sales & revenues to look at which companies are actually thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic — Let’s take a look at pandemic profit.
E-Commerce Profits During Pandemic: Amazon, Shopify, Wayfair
You probably expected Amazon to appear, somewhere here – Already a leader in offering delivery service to customers, people have continued to use their Amazon Prime accounts to order the essentials (and non-essentials, of course—it’s all available) and their stock price has continued to rise.
While he’s come under fire against claims Amazon employees are working in hazardous environments, and has even made claims his company is losing money, the Financial Post reports Amazon’s stock has risen by 30%, and their market value now nears 1.2 trillion – Doesn’t sound too shabby to us.
In addition to Amazon, delivery services in general are seeing a boom—One of these big names is Wayfair.
With many people confined to their homes, we’re guessing people have A) noticed areas of their home they could improve, and/or B) they have nothing but time to decorate their homes – Hmm, we wonder how much of those furniture purchases were work-from-home set-ups? In any case, their sales have increased over 20% compared to last year. In April, according to MarketWatch, Wayfairs’ stock rose by 38%.
For Shopify, although recent stock prices have seen a decline, they definitely experienced growth since the beginning of the pandemic, as most businesses (who didn’t previously) looked for a way to sell their product online. In April, Shopify’s stock rose by 52%.
Video Conferencing: Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Slack
This one’s actually a funny story, if you can believe that — With more people than ever using Zoom and other video conferencing services, platforms like Zoom, WebEx and Slack, which allows video conferencing and conference calls to be made, stock in Zoom technologies soared.
The thing is, stock prices soared for Zoom Technologies…which is not the company that offers the video-conferencing platform. The confusion came with the name the stock is traded under, with sales of ‘US:ZOOM’ sky-rocketing, rather than Zoom Video Communications Inc. and the name it’s traded under, ‘NASDAQ:ZM’, which most people thought they were purchasing stocks under.
In fact, Zoom Technologies’ is nearly out of business and trades on one of the riskier sides of the stock market. Consumers can’t blame themselves too much for the confusion, however — information on various websites with Zoom Technologies website even linked to the Zoom Video Communications Inc. website.
When it comes to NASDAQ: ZM and the ‘real’ Zoom Video Communications Inc. stock, it’s increased by nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, which makes sense as we see friends, families and even classrooms using the video conferencing service to stay connected when social distancing is required.
When it comes to another popular web service, Slack, known as a popular messenger service for businesses, many businesses (who weren’t already using it) began to use the platform to replace meetings and casual office banter. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slack’s stock (NYSE:WORK) has rose by 37%.
Cisco, known for their IT software, also offers a video-meeting service, which similar to the aforementioned Slack or Zoom (and Microsoft Teams), has been a big aid for workplaces switching to a work-from-home culture. While Cisco’s stock has experienced highs and lows during this time, their actual usage numbers have seen an all-time high — At March 11, the video-conferencing platform clocked over 5.5 billion minutes in meetings.
Cleaning Companies: Kimberly-Clark, Clorox
The name on everyone’s lips…Kimberly? Well, sort of — Kimberly-Clark is the parent company of brands like Kleenex, Scott and Huggies. They also produce professional and industrial-grade cleaning products like paper towel, toilet paper, soap and other supplies which businesses both big and small are undoubtedly purchasing as they prepare to re-open.
Another cleaning company whose stock has risen is Clorox (traded under NYSE:CLX). Known for their disinfecting products, like Clorox disinfecting wipes and bleach, this one is sort of a no-brainer—with disinfecting wipes flying off the shelves, people have been snatching up cleaning products and stocks. Their stock price has increased by 49%.
iGaming: Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, Online Gambling
While basically all forms of online gaming have grown more popular as more people stay indoors, we’ve got two words for you: Animal Crossing.
You’ve likely seen friends, acquaintances and even celebrities posting photos of their houses and outfits on the Nintendo-Switch game, and Nintendo has noticed the rise in popularity, too. The game sold over 13 million copies in its first month.
They’ve reported annual profits rising by 41%, and quarterly profits triple what they were during the previous quarter.
Nintendo isn’t the only gaming brand to see numbers improve – Activision Blizzard, the company responsible for popular titles like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft (a Blizzard Ent. Operation) among other games, has seen shares continue to increase, with a $58 million increase in revenue compared to last year, and over 60 million players.
Another gaming industry experiencing a ‘boom’ since the pandemic include online casinos – You might’ve noticed various states rushing to legalize online sports betting, and online casinos have certainly seen a rise in visitors as sitting at the real poker table is no longer a reality for most. Online slots, poker tables (especially live dealer) have continued to provide a space for gambling enthusiasts to chat with others, and play the games they love.
Pandemic Profits: Conclusion
Although these businesses have experienced booms or increased revenue, there are some big brands that haven’t been so lucky — brands like Adidas, Boeing and Ford have cancelled dividends, and banks like JPMorgan Chase cancelled share buybacks, exercising caution in this unpredictable time.
It’s tough to say which companies will continue to see ‘pandemic profits’, success, and increased sales figures during the pandemic and beyond, we’re certain of one thing – the way people shop has changed, and hopefully, businesses will keep up.