Aside from its obvious physical health implications, the coronavirus has also devastated the longevity of many small businesses forced to shut down for two months or more. However, not all enterprises are struggling in the age of COVID-19. The following companies have found themselves in the unique position of profiting from a pandemic.
Amazon was already an international giant before the coronavirus pandemic, but worldwide stay-at-home orders further increased customer reliance on Amazon’s product delivery system, cloud computing, and video streaming. The company’s first-quarter revenue grew accordingly from $59.7 billion in 2019 to $75.5 billion this year.
Jeff Bezos is using Amazon’s dominance to respond to the pandemic. As he said in a statement at the end of April 2020, “If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small. Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on COVID-related expenses getting products to consumers and keeping employees safe.”
Aside from toilet paper, Clorox has experienced some of the heaviest demand from consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. Since over a third of the company’s products are cleaning supplies like bleach and antibacterial wipes, Clorox has enjoyed rising profits in the midst of panic shopping and hoarding. Shares for Clorox stock have even risen during the crisis.
With quarantine limiting the activities Americans can enjoy, millions have tuned to Netflix for entertainment. The streaming giant’s boom began in mid-March. It only expected 7.2 million new subscribers but received nearly 16 million, a growth of more than 22 percent year over year.
However, it’s not all good news for Netflix, which expects the meteoric rise to decrease after lockdowns end. “At Netflix, we’re acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term,” the company’s recent letter to shareholders reads.
“Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth. In our case, this is offset by a sharply stronger US dollar, depressing our international revenue, resulting in revenue-as-forecast.”
Zoom has become the go-to telecommunication tool for businesses forced to work virtually during the coronavirus lockdown. In fact, it’s become a lifeline for companies attempting to work efficiently from a distance. This has led to a huge surge in Zoom usage, up to 300 million daily meeting participants.
This places the company’s active user count up 378% from a year earlier as of March 22, with monthly active users up 186%. Though the company doesn’t expect to maintain those numbers long-term, they do expect to retain more new users who were previously unaware of Zoom services but may not incorporate the app into daily communications.