The coronavirus or COVID 19 outbreak has been catastrophic for the major stock indices globally over the past couple of weeks. Global investors are estimated to have lost $7 trillion since Feb 19 while the U.S. market alone lost $4.3 billion.
The pandemic, per The New York Times’ data, is estimated to have infected more than 90,000 people, killing more than 3,000. Moreover, the coronavirus is anticipated to drag down economic growth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now expects a longer “more intensive” coronavirus outbreak to lower global economic growth to 1.5% compared with its November 2019 projection of 2.9%. Online-Only Format Safer Than Conferences The rising incidences of the deadly coronavirus affected businesses heavily, particularly in automotive, aviation, high-tech, retail and travel & tourism industries. Moreover, the need for quarantine and travel barriers is creating disruption on the international business front. Further, the coronavirus-related health concerns suspended a number of conferences and public events including the Mobile World Conference, Geneva Motor Show, Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit, and F8 Developer Conference, Game Developers Conference, Milan Furniture Fair, Shanghai and Beijing Fashion Weeks among others. The most recent cancellation is Adobe Summit 2020, which is now set to be held in online-only format. Per Reuters, NVIDIA also called off the in-person portion of its annual user conference scheduled for Mar 22-26. The company will now hold the conference online. Further, Alphabet ( GOOGL Quick Quote GOOGL - Free Report) division Google and Microsoft MSFT recently cancelled their Cloud Next and MVP Summit, respectively, due to the coronavirus outbreak. Notably, American authorities confirmed nearly 100 coronavirus cases and six deaths in the United States, according to The New York Times. Both Google and Microsoft now expect to make their respective conferences into digital-first events, per The Verge. Video Conferencing Providers in Focus Travel restrictions and the growing preference for online-mode conferences bode well for companies like Microsoft, LogMeIn LOGM, Google, Zoom Video ZM and RingCentral RNG. Year-to-Date Performance
Let’s dig deep to find out more about their offerings.
Microsoft Teams, a successor to Skype for Business, is included as a feature in Microsoft’s Office 365 commercial suite. The paid version allows team members to share files, up to one terabyte per user, schedule meetings directly from Outlook, record meetings and collaborate on documents using the desktop Office programs and SharePoint Online. Microsoft, which currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), also offers a free-version of Teams. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. LogMein’s GoToMeeting, a solution for online meetings, sales demonstrations and collaborative gatherings, offers an array of attractive features. One of the notable features is integration with calendar solutions and platforms from Office 365, Google’s G Suite, salesforce, Zoho and Slack. LogMeIn, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), offers two paid plan options. While the professional costs $12 per organizer on a monthly basis for up to 150 participants, the business costs $16 per organizer for up to 250 participants. Additionally, an enterprise plan supports up to 3000 participants. Google Hangouts Meet, Google’s communications and collaboration app, enables video meetings for G Suite subscribers and allows external participants to connect. For instance, Polycom and Cisco users can seamlessly join a Hangouts Meet meeting through the Pexip Infinity Platform. Google Hangouts Meet is compatible with Google Chrome browser and mobile apps are available for iOS and Android users. G-suite subscription, priced at $6 a month at its “basic” level, is required to set up and host Google Meet Session, per Business Insider. Google-parent Alphabet currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Zoom Video provides a unified communications platform that combines video, audio, phone, screen sharing and chat functionalities. This Zacks #3 Ranked company’s cloud-native platform enables face-to-face video experiences for thousands of people in a single meeting across disparate devices and locations. Zoom Phone, Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars are primary products. Apart from offering a free tier, Zoom offers paid plans like Pro (costs $14.99 on a monthly basis per host), Business (costs $19.99 on a monthly basis per host, minimum of 10 hosts) and Enterprise (costs $19.99 on a monthly basis per host, minimum of 50 hosts). RingCentral offers an integrated voice, video, on-line meetings, team messaging, digital customer engagement and contact center solutions. This #3 Ranked company’s RingCentral Rooms and Rooms Connector provide a cloud web conferencing solution to meeting rooms and support large meetings and webinars for a monthly per license add-on fee. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better. See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>