Tech

Zoom has added more videoconferencing users this year than in all of 2019 thanks to coronavirus, Bernstein says

Key Points
  • The company added 2.22 million monthly active users so far in 2020, while in 2019 it added 1.99 million, according to Bernstein's estimates.
  • The company recently removed a 40-minute limit on meetings of more than two people for free users in China.
  • Zoom shares are up 40% in February, on pace for their best month since Zoom went public in April.
Eric Yuan, founder and chief executive officer of Zoom Video Communications Inc., speaks during the BoxWorks 2019 Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.
Bloomberg

Videoconferencing software company Zoom has brought in more active users so far this year than it did in 2019 amid corporate concerns about the spread of coronavirus, Bernstein Research analysts wrote in a note distributed to clients on Wednesday.

The usage spike illustrates one company thriving while some others are seeing cracks because of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. On Tuesday, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials suggested that, given the chance of the coronavirus being declared a pandemic in the country, people working for companies can meet over voice or video calls instead of congregating in person.

Zoom shares are up 40% in February, on pace for their best month since the company went public in April. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 4% so far this month.

"As one might expect, Zoom's revenue shows a strong correlation with MAUs [monthly active users], DAUs [daily active users] and downloads," wrote Bernstein's Zane Chrane and Michelle Isaacs, who have the equivalent of a buy rating on Zoom stock.

Zoom had 12.92 million monthly active users, up 21% since the end of 2019, Chrane and Isaacs wrote, citing data from privately held Apptopia. Many of the new users are taking advantage of Zoom's services without paying for them, but Zoom could end up with customers paying for premium tiers of service as well, the analysts wrote.

"Zoom has added 3.5x more MAUs YTD [year to date] than the same period of 2019 (2.22 vs. 0.64 million), so even with half the normal paid user conversion rate, this would still yield 74% y/y growth in paid user adds YTD," they wrote.

The company added 2.22 million monthly active users so far in 2020, while in 2019 it added 1.99 million, according to the note.

Zoom itself does not disclose user numbers, and declined to comment on the estimates.

But the company's CEO, Eric Yuan, told CNBC's Jim Cramer earlier this month that people have been using the product at a record rate.

"Zoom is doing everything we can to provide resources and support to those navigating the coronavirus outbreak," Yuan, who grew up in China, the country where the virus was first identified, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. The company has removed a 40-minute limit on meetings of more than two people for free users in China, Yuan wrote.

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