On Apr 24, Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) rolled out a range of videoconferencing features including a new tool Messenger Rooms, which will allow users to host video calls of up to 50 people. Facebook’s decision to roll out new videoconferencing features is an attempt to capitalize on the growing demand for video chats due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The coronavirus outbreak has compelled people to stay and work from home, which has been working wonders for tech companies and software vendors that offer working facilities from remote locations. This has seen a surge in demand for videoconferencing apps, computer peripherals and hardware and other networking equipment.
Facebook Integrates Messaging Products
The videoconferencing tool, Messenger Rooms, enables as many as 50 people to participate in a call. It displays a tiled layout of participant videos up to 16 on desktop and eight on mobile. This is also Facebook’s first step toward a planned integration of messaging products across its apps.
Tech Companies Benefit From Coronavirus Lockdown
In spite of being one of the most popular social media platforms, Facebook has somewhat been late in joining the crowded field of video chats, in particular during the pandemic-induced lockdown.
The company is also expanding Facebook and Instagram livestreaming features and doubling WhatsApp’s video call person limit from four people to eight people. Also, Microsoft, Zoom, Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO - Free Report) and Alphabet, Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google have announced updates on their video meeting tools while reporting record growth since the lockdowns began.
Last week, Microsoft introduced a new feature Meet Now for Skype that will allow video conferencing of up to 50 people without downloading the app. As of Apr 22, Zoom’s user base grew 50% to 300 million in three weeks despite questions being raised on the app’s safety and security.
With the majority of people now either working or learning from home, many tech companies are moving the bulk of their workload to the cloud. This has also seen a surge in demand for products and services of companies dealing in communication network, audio and video network and hardware and computer peripherals.
The coronavirus pandemic is far from over and many governments are still hesitant to lift lockdown or ease stay-at-home orders. It is thus likely that consumer-oriented companies with a strong online presence built on the cloud will witness more demand in products and services in the near term. Here are five such stocks that are presently solid investment propositions.
Zoom Video Communications, Inc.is a provider of video and web conferencing services. The company unifies cloud video conferencing, online meetings, group messaging and a software-defined video conference room solution on one platform.
Zoom has been one of the few stocks that saw its shares hit record highs last month, while the broader market tanked. What’s more, the company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 22.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 59.3% over the past 60 days. Zoom flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Ericsson (ERIC - Free Report) is a leading provider of communication networks, telecom services and support solutions. The company is a leader in telecommunications and is now expanding its role into an Information and Communications Technology solutions provider.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 5.7% over the past 60 days. Ericsson has a Zacks Rank #1.
InterDigital, Inc. (IDCC - Free Report) is a pioneer in advanced mobile technologies that enables wireless communications and capabilities.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 57.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 0.98% over the past 60 days. InterDigital carries a Zacks Rank #1.
Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD - Free Report) designs and manufactures the FieldSmart fiber management platform, which includes its latest generation Fiber Distribution System and Fiber Scalability Center.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 8.9%. Clearfild has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Avid Technology, Inc. (AVID - Free Report) develops, markets, sells and supports a wide range of software and systems for creating and manipulating digital media content.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 68.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 6.2% over the past 60 days. Avid Technology sports a Zacks Rank #1.
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