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Can the Coronavirus Hackathon Pep Up Tech Stocks? 4 Gainers

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The coronavirus pandemic may have confined techies worldwide to their homes but new initiatives are being taken to ensure that appropriate software are developed to undertake challenges that might pop up amid this lockdown. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a bunch of Silicon Valley companies.

Let’s take a closer look at this new program and make a note, which tech companies may benefit from this moving ahead.

Global Hackathon to Tackle Pandemic Problems

Earlier this week, the #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon was announced. It is an initiative that witnessed several tech giants coming together to work with WHO for a global software development program, which may offer solutions to address some of the issues faced by the United Nation’s specialized agency during this period of crisis worldwide.

The program encourages developers to build tools which focuson health, businesses, community, vulnerable populations, education and entertainment. After all, given the current shutdown, it’s ideal to brainstorm possible problems that may crop up in the aforementioned areas and address them effectively.

The hackathon will accept submissions from Mar 26 to Mar 30. Top projects of the program are expected to be announced on Apr 3. Companies, such as Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) , Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) , Twitter, Inc. (TWTR - Free Report) and Slack Technologies, Inc. (WORK - Free Report) are among the top partners of WHO for the hackathon. Some other partners are WeChat, Pinterest, Inc. (PINS - Free Report) , TikTok, Giphy and Slow Ventures.

This initiative can lead to notable projects that have the potential to be developed into bigger ventures. In fact, several remarkable features of Facebook like Blood Donations and Crisis Response are developed as part of hackathons, per a post by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In addition, since the participants in the initiative are corporate behemoths with enough cash inflow to fund these projects, one may expect the bigwigs to back some remarkable programs to convert into profitable ventures ahead.

Taking a look at how the technology space has fared in the past month, one may note that the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) has incurred narrower losses (18.6%) compared to the broader S&P 500 Index (24.1%) and its other 10 sectors. Notably, the sector has gained 83% in a matter of five years, a steep journey compared with the S&P 500 Index’s 17% climb in the same timeframe.

4 Stocks to Consider

We rounded up four stocks from the technology space, each sporting an encouraging Zacks Rank. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Microsoft’s current-year earnings has moved 4.7% north in the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 18.1%. Microsoft, which belongs to the Zacks Computer - Software industry, carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Facebook’s next-year earnings has moved 1.1% north in the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 39.5%. Facebook, which belongs to the Zacks Internet - Services industry, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Twitter’s expected earnings growth rate for the next year is 21.7%. Twitter, which belongs to the Zacks Internet - Software industry, carries a Zacks Rank #3.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Slack Technologies’ current-year earnings has moved 4.5% north in the past 90 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the next quarter is 57.1%. Slack Technologies, which belongs to the Technology Services industry, carries a Zacks Rank #3.

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