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Companies Extending Remote Working on Coronavirus Fears: 5 Picks

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An increasing number of U.S. companies are extending the work-from-home option as there are no signs of the coronavirus subsiding. Moreover, with a vaccine or treatment still far from reality, work from home seems the only way for companies to keep their employees safe.

If health experts are to be believed, the situation isn’t going to change anytime soon. Hence, work and learn from home has become the new normal, spurring demand for computer hardware, peripherals, network software and cloud business.

Companies Coming to Terms With Work From Home

Several companies that find remote working feasible are recommending this strategy till mid next year in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM - Free Report) is the latest among its peers to extend this option until Jul 31, 2021. The company is also expanding remote work benefits for its employees, giving each person $250 to purchase office supplies in addition to the $250 it gave earlier this year. Parents also have the option to take six additional weeks of paid time off.

As coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, companies are coming to terms with a future of work that doesn't look anything like it did before. Twitter got the ball rolling in mid-May when it announced that some of its employees could permanently work from home. Last month, Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) followed suit.  Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) , Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) , Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (UBER) have also given employees the option to work from home until mid-2021.

Remote Working Boosting Demand for Hardware, Network Software

The decision to allow employees to work from home is coming at a time when childcare, education and safety concerns continue to grow. However, working from home is a different ballgame, which requires much of a set-up like office. This has seen the demand for video collaboration products skyrocket over the past few months. An increasing number of locked-down staff is relying on video conferencing equipment, software and webcams.

Storage and data protection software sales grew 12.5%, while security software sales grew 5.3%, representing nearly a quarter of the sales in the software market during this time. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), PC shipments grew in the second quarter despite an economic slowdown. A new report from the research firm says global shipments grew 11.2% year over year to 72.3 million units.

Traditional PC shipments posted double-digit year-over-year growth in the second quarter of 2020. While the first quarter saw the lowest PC shipments in over a decade, the second quarter was record-breaking for the opposite reason. IDC also predicts that volumes are expected to surpass 21 million units this year, the highest since the end of 2009.  According to a report by Trends Market Research, the global computer peripherals market, which was valued at $4 billion in 2017, is expected to reach $289.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 70.8%.

The pandemic has changed the world completely. Strong demand driven by work-from-home as well as e-learning needs has surpassed previous expectations and once again put the PC and peripherals market at the center of consumers’ tech portfolio.

Our Choices

The at-home culture is here to stay for a longer time than expected with no signs of the pandemic easing. Demand for PCs, Internet with strong connectivity, video conferring apps, laptops, tablets and other peripherals will only grow in such a situation, helping these four stocks to skyrocket.

Apple, Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) designs, manufactures and markets smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables and accessories worldwide. Its signature products include iPhone, Mac and iPad.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 8.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 4.9% over the past 60 days.  Apple sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank  stocks here.

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM - Free Report) has been benefiting from the work-from-home and online learning wave. Zoom uses AI to schedule video meetings and for a host of other things such as organizing attendee details and transcripting details.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 13.4% over the past 60 days.  The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Logitech International (LOGI - Free Report) is a global leader in peripherals for personal computers and other digital platforms, which develops and markets innovative products in PC navigation, Internet communications, digital music, home-entertainment control, video security, interactive gaming and wireless devices.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 16.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 10.6% over the past 60 days. Logitech sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVGY - Free Report) is dedicated to building PCs and mobile Internet devices. Lenovo's business is built on product innovation, a highly efficient global supply chain and strong strategic execution.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 37.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 4.2% over the past 60 days. Lenovo has a Zacks Rank #2.

Digi International Inc. (DGII - Free Report) is a leading global provider of business and mission-critical IoT products and services. They help their customers create next-generation connected products, and deploy and manage critical communications infrastructures in demanding environments with high levels of security.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 77.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 100% over the past 60 days.  The company has a Zacks Rank #2.

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.

Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2021.

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