Shares of Zoom Video Communications (ZM -0.22%) jumped nearly 10% on Friday amid reports of surging coronavirus infections.
The omicron variant is spreading rapidly around the world. Health officials are concerned that soaring COVID-19 case counts could soon overwhelm hospitals and other medical facilities.
Companies such as Apple and Alphabet's Google have responded by delaying their plans to return to their corporate offices. Due to the uncertainty surrounding omicron and this latest COVID-19 surge, many businesses are instructing their employees to prepare to work from home for an indefinite period.
Omicron has also fueled a new wave of volatility in the financial markets. Stock indexes have plunged and rallied and plunged again, sometimes within the same day, as health officials have shared more news related to the worrisome coronavirus variant.
After President Joe Biden warned of "a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated" in a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, investors appear to be taking the threat posed by omicron even more seriously.
Many investors responded by buying Zoom's shares on Friday. While countless companies' sales and profits are likely to be dented by a frightening new wave of COVID-19, Zoom could see higher demand for its cloud-based communications solutions.
Zoom experienced staggering growth during the early stages of the pandemic, when businesses quickly deployed its video chat software so their employees could more easily communicate while working from home. Although Zoom is unlikely to return to that torrid pace of expansion, its revenue and profit growth could reaccelerate in the months ahead.