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4 Things From Zoom Video's Earnings Call That Investors Should Know

By Beth McKenna – Jun 12, 2019 at 8:17AM

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On the Q1 earnings call, management talked international expansion, landing bigger customers, acquisition stance, and R&D spending.

Zoom Video Communications (ZM 5.78%) reported fiscal first-quarter 2020 results last Thursday that thrilled the market, which sent shares soaring more than 28% in the two-day period following the release. While shares pulled back 7% on Tuesday, they're still up 19.4% since earnings were announced and up a whopping 164% from their April initial public offering price of $36.

In the Silicon Valley-based video conferencing specialist's first earnings report as a public company, revenue rocketed 103% year over year to $122 million. GAAP earnings per share came in at breakeven, compared with a loss of $0.02 per share in the year-ago period, and adjusted EPS was $0.03, up from $0.00.

Below are four key things from Zoom Video's Q1 earnings call that investors should know. (My first call article covered what CEO Eric Yuan said about the company's total addressable market (TAM), its sales strategy for the new Zoom Phone, and company culture.)

Middle-aged man sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen showing 12 images of people on a videoconference call.

Image source: Zoom Video Communications.

1. International expansion is a growth driver

From CFO Kelly Steckelberg's remarks: 

Geographic expansion is another driver of our strong revenue growth as we continue to enjoy high demand and growth globally. Revenue in Q1 from the Americas was up 98% year over year and was approximately 80% of revenue. Our APAC [Asia Pacific] and EMEA [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] revenue combined grew 127% year over year.

It's a big world -- and with the Americas region accounting for 80% of Zoom's total revenue in the first quarter, it's apparent that the international growth potential is particularly massive. The company is making significant investments to expand its global footprint.

2. Winning larger customers is a growth driver

Due to its focus on enterprise (larger) customers, Zoom grew its customer count in this category faster than its overall customer base in the first quarter. From Steckelberg's remarks:

We had over 58,500 customers with more than 10 employees, up nearly 86% year over year. ... The combination of our land and expand strategy, along with our growing enterprise focus resulted in 405 customers with more than $100,000 in revenue over the last 12 months, up 120% year over year. 

We had four deals in the quarter that were over $1 million ARR [annual reoccurring revenue] and unfortunately we can't disclose the names of most of those, but one of them is a really exciting large financial institution that we're thrilled to have as a new customer and a couple of them were upsells.

In the quarter, Zoom's new enterprise customers included electronic-signature pioneer DocuSign and Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), a predictive analytics company best known for its credit scores, while enterprise customers that expanded their relationships with Zoom included networking systems and software provider Ciena and video game maker Take-Two Interactive.

3. Management is open to acquisitions

From Steckelberg's remarks:

[W]hile we haven't been acquisitive historically, Eric [Yuan, Zoom CEO] and I have talked a lot about this. [W]e will keep looking for companies that we think could elevate our company in terms of technology or potentially personnel that were needed. So I think we're keeping our options open at this point.

This comment was made in response to an analyst who asked what Zoom Video plans to do with its "big pile of cash." Big indeed, as the company ended Q1 with about $737 million in cash and cash equivalents, up from $176 million at the end of its previous quarter. That huge increase is due primarily to the $543 million of net proceeds the company received from its IPO along with growth in cash flow from operations.

4. Huge focus on research and development

Investing in R&D is crucial in rapidly evolving tech spaces, as innovation will often separate the winners from the losers in these realms. From Steckelberg's remarks:

R&D remains a major investment area as we expand our platform with new features and capabilities every quarter. Approximately one-third of our workforce is R&D, however, it is lower as a percentage of revenue because we have a highly efficient global R&D model. [Emphasis mine.]

R&D expense in the quarter was $13 million, or nearly 11% of total revenue. The big differential between percentage of workforce in R&D and percentage of revenue spent on R&D is no doubt heavily due to Zoom having a large number of R&D staff in China (read: lower-cost workers).

Beth McKenna has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends DocuSign, Fair Isaac, Take-Two Interactive, and Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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