The coronavirus pandemic has changed the employment landscape. Although working from home isn’t a new phenomenon, the concept gained popularity more out of necessity amid the virus outbreak. And given that a vaccine to treat the virus is still far from reality, several companies are extending work from home until mid-2021.
Employees are now comfortable working remotely and according to a new survey by PwC, more than a third polled would like to work their entire schedules from home even after the pandemic passes. Needless to say, this new normal is spurring demand for computer hardware, peripherals, network software and cloud business.
Employees Prefer Working From Home
The United States has witnessed a 12,000% jump in work from home since Jan 1. According to the PwC survey, around 83% of respondents in the worker group sample of 1,200 would like to work remotely at least one day a week and almost 32% would like to work their entire schedules from home once the pandemic passes.
Among the bosses, 73% said shifting their respective workforces to remote working situations has been a success. Moreover, 44% of the group, comprising 120 U.S. company executives, feels their employees were more productive in remote working situations and 55% believe that most of their employees will have opportunities to work remotely at least one day a week after the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
Moreover, companies too aren’t taking any risk and are allowing employees to work remotely for extended periods. 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 - Free Report) have also given employees the option to work from home until mid-2021. Last week, Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM - Free Report) also extended the option to work from home until Jul 31 next year.
Hardware, Network & Software Demand on the Rise
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 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 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 gain.
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 4.8% over the past 30 days. Apple has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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 (Buy).
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.
Systemax Inc. (SYX - Free Report) is a direct marketer of brand name and private label products, including personal desktop computers, notebook computers, computer-related products, and industrial products, in North America and Europe. The company assembles its own PCs and sell them under the trademarks Systemax, Tiger and Ultra.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 11.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 21.8% over the past 60 days. Systemax carries a Zacks Rank #2.
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