What happened

Shares of cloud-based contact center operator Five9 (NASDAQ:FIVN) rose 68.8% in the first half of 2020, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

This stock roared into 2020 with a 50% gain in 2019 based on big wins in the enterprise subscriptions segment, only to find out that the COVID-19 crisis paved the way toward even stronger gains this year. The global health crisis lowered Five9's call center sales in some sectors, led by travel and consumer discretionary businesses, but the company's work-from-home services hit a nerve in this market. All told, Five9's total sales rose 28% year over year in the first quarter.

A smiling businesswoman talks on her phone in a home office with big-city views.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

One particular Five9 policy impressed me in the first quarter. At a time when many businesses were cutting costs and laying off employees, Five9 issued $1.8 million in COVID-19 relief bonuses to all employees up to the level of senior directors. The company may be sailing in uncharted waters, but the destination looks like a tropical beach with little umbrellas in every drink. Contact center services add up to a $30 billion annual market today and Five9 is poised to grab a larger slice of that enormous pie thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.