Technology Roundup – Zoom shares gain ahead of Monday’s Q3 report, Amazon’s historic hiring spree added an average of 1,400 workers per day for 10 months

Published on: November 27, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Zoom shares gain ahead of Monday’s Q3 report, which should show continuing pandemic tailwinds

  • Zoom Video (ZM +3.4%) shares are gaining ahead of Monday’s Q3 report, which is scheduled for after the bell. Consensus estimates expect $694.13M in revenue (+312% Y/Y) and $0.76 EPS (last year: $0.06). Zoom guided $685-690M in revenue and $0.73-0.74 EPS for the quarter.
  • Analysts forecast an operating margin of 33.6% vs. the 41.7% in Q2.
  • Cash from operations is expected to total $208.2M with FCF of $200.6M.
  • For Q4, analysts expect Zoom to guide revenue of $719M and $0.62 EPS.
  • For the year, consensus has revenue of $2.4B and $2.46 EPS. Zoom guided $2.37-2.39B in sales and $2.40-2.47 EPS.
  • Last quarter: Zoom shares surged post-earnings on upside Q2 results that featured quadrupled revenues and a tenfold boost to profits.
  • Zoom shares have soared this year due to the pandemic’s work and learn from home shifts. ZM has led the recent WFH pullbacks after positive coronavirus vaccine announcements, but shares are still up 552% YTD.
  • Here’s a look at Zoom’s recent EPS surprises and forward consensus estimates. Find more historical earnings data here.

Amazon’s historic hiring spree added an average of 1,400 workers per day for 10 months

  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZNhas added 427,300 employees between January and October, a more than 50% Y/Y gain that pushed the total global workforce up over 1.2M.
  • About 350,000 of the workers have been hired since July.
  • The new hires were largely in Amazon warehouses, which saw a surge in pandemic-related demand as lockdown orders drove the need for online shopping.
  • According to The New York Times, the figures don’t include employee churn, the 100,000 temporary workers brought in for the holiday season, or the 500,000 delivery driver contractors.
  • “No American company has hired so many workers so quickly,” Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, tells the NYT.

Amazon announces one-time bonuses for holiday workers that will cost $500M

  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZNwill pay U.S. Operations employees who work for the company for the entire month of December a one-time bonus of $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time workers.
  • The company says the “special recognition” bonuses will cost Amazon about $500M.
  • During the early months of the pandemic, Amazon bumped up warehouse worker pay by $2/hour. The program ended in May.
  • In June, the e-commerce giant paid out one-time bonuses of up to $500 per employee.
  • Recently, Amazon offered $3,000 sign-on bonuses to bulk up its staffing ahead of the holiday rush, a move that earned some criticism from existing employees.
  • “Combined with other holiday pay incentives, in this quarter alone we are investing over $750 million in additional pay for our front-line hourly workforce, on top of our industry-leading $15 national minimum wage. This brings our total spent on special bonuses and incentives for our teams globally to over $2.5 billion in 2020, including a $500 million thank you bonus earlier this year,” writes Dave Clark, SVP of Amazon Worldwide Operations.

STM, YTO to establish joint laboratory for intelligent agricultural equipment development

  • STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) inks agreement with YTO to establish a joint laboratory in YTO’s Research Institute of Intelligence and Information in Luoyang, Henan province.
  • YTO was founded in 1955 and is the largest agricultural machinery enterprise in China.
  • The lab will focus on the research and development of electronic solutions for engine, vehicle, and agricultural controls in tractors.

Facebook’s Libra could come in January as one dollar-backed coin

  • Many speed bumps have plagued the launch of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Libra, but the digital currency may soon see the light of day.
  • The exact launch date depends on when the project receives approval to operate as a payments service from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, but could come as early as January, FT reports.
  • An even more limited format… The 27-strong Libra Association would initially launch a single coin backed one-for-one by the dollar, while other currencies and a “digital composite” of all of its coins would be rolled out at a later point.
  • Back in April, there were plans to launch digital versions of several currencies following concerns from regulators over its initial plan to create one synthetic coin backed by a basket of currencies.
  • A more limited scope may appease regulators, but critics have complained that a move to single-currency coins could result in additional costs for currency conversion, undermining the project’s goal of greater financial inclusion.