By Daniel Newman
The past month has seen a historic fall in global stock markets as the coronavirus pandemic becomes a reality, triggering unprecedented uncertainty. But while revenue and growth are at risk today, companies that weather the storm will be in strong positions to grow with both existing and new business models. Agility will be key to helping their customers adapt as well.
Here are seven companies that have the customer base, balance-sheet strength, cash flow as well as the right products and services that could lead to a fast bounce back.
One of the first companies to acknowledge coronavirus and the Covid-19 illness it causes, Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.98% was quick to adjust its projections for revenue and earnings per share as it shuttered its stores, first in China and then globally. Now stores in China are beginning to reopen.
Apple is still selling devices online, and the moment stores that are still closed are able to open up again, you can count on customers funneling back in. Despite Apple’s smallish market share in mobile devices and laptops, the company leads the industry in margins and its customer base is loyal—even when its products are more expensive and/or lack features, like 5G. More importantly, if social distancing becomes the new norm, we anticipate an increase in consumer demand for personal devices. I also expect Apple to be creative in offering incentives such as long-term financing and trade-in programs to propel consumers to upgrade devices sooner than they may have planned.
While America’s most innovative mobile chip maker has lost over a third of its market value in the last two months (falling from $109.5 billion on Jan. 21 to around $75 billion today), Qualcomm /zigman2/quotes/206679220/composite QCOM +4.26% still stands to benefit from the growth in 5G all over the world.
With Asia coming back online and as one of the most aggressive adopters of 5G, Qualcomm’s licensing and chip business could see a surge as market activity resumes and 5G networks and device adoption picks up. Mobile device usage will not slow in the wake of this. If anything, it will accelerate, and Qualcomm will see its technology and patents drive revenue from our collective growing attachment to our devices.
While Wall Street darling Zoom Video Communications /zigman2/quotes/211319643/composite ZM -4.41% has received most of the attention over the massive move to remote work because of coronavirus, Cisco owns Webex, one of the world’s leading collaboration platforms.
Like other collaboration platform, Webex has had a surge in business since the start of the pandemic-driven work-from-home effort around the world, yielding a whopping 6.7 billion meeting minutes this month through March 19. This represents two to four times pre-coronavirus volumes.