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Zoom Sinks as Forecast Fuels Post-Pandemic Letdown Fears

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(Bloomberg) -- Zoom Video Communications Inc. gave a sales forecast that fell short of some analysts’ estimates, raising concerns the company will have difficulty maintaining rapid revenue growth as workers turn away from remote meetings. Shares fell more than 11% in extended trading.

Revenue will be about $1.02 billion in the current period, and $4.01 billion in the fiscal year, the San Jose, California-based company said Monday in a statement. Analysts had expected quarterly revenue of as much as $1.06 billion and annual sales of as much as $4.08 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Zoom’s video-conferencing platform became a ubiquitous tool for work and school throughout the pandemic. With many schools restarting in person, offices reopening in some parts of the world and competition increasing from companies like Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, investors are concerned the days of Zoom’s robust growth are over.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan is looking for ways to keep up the pace. The company last month agreed to acquire Five9 Inc. for $14.7 billion to expand in the market for call center software, and Zoom has added premium products such as a cloud-based phone system.

“The primary issue is how fast the business is decelerating,” said Pat Walravens, an analyst at JMP Securities. Zoom revenue rose 369% in the 2020 fiscal fourth quarter, 191% in the first and 54% in the three months ended July 31. The company’s forecasts indicate sales may increase just 15% in the fiscal fourth quarter, he said.

“Bigger picture, a lot of people already bought the core video conferencing solution, so now the question is what else can Zoom sell to its customers?” Walravens said.

Sales were $1.02 billion in the fiscal second quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $990.2 million. Profit, excluding some items, was $1.36 a share. Analysts projected $1.16. Net income was $316.9 million, or $1.04 a share, compared with $185.7 million, or 63 cents, in the year-ago period.

Zoom didn’t add as many large customers as analysts expected. The company said it had 504,900 clients with more than 10 employees, a gain of 36% from a year earlier. Analysts estimated 509,316. Zoom gained 87% more of those customers, year over year, in the previous quarter.

Shares declined to a low of $305.20 in extended trading after closing at $347.50. While the stock jumped almost fivefold in 2020, it has risen just 3% so far this year.

(Updates with comments from analyst in the fifth paragraph.)

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