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Here's Why Zoom Stock Was Up Almost 15% in the First Half of 2021

What happened

Shares of Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM) were up 14.7% in the first half of 2021, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. In the first several weeks of the year, the stock was up more than 30% before crashing over 30% from these 2021 highs. And even though the stock rallied hard in the final weeks of the first half of the year, Zoom is still down about 14% from its 2021 high as of this writing. And it's down around 33% from its all-time high, set in 2020.

So what

In the first half of 2021, Zoom made some important product announcements that helped send the stock higher. For example, on May 19, the company announced Zoom Events, which will allow event organizers to create ticketed live events directly on its platform, opening up an entirely new use case for the software. Then on June 9, it announced Zoom Phone Appliances, integrating a hardware component to its software with the goal of simplifying hybrid work (part time at home, part time at the office).

Image source: Zoom Video Communications.

Zoom has also reported earnings results twice in 2021, shattering the prevailing narrative about this investment going forward. Some pundits had called it just a pandemic stock and suggested its growth would reverse in 2021 and beyond.

However when the company reported fiscal 2021 results (for the year ending in January 2021), it guided for fiscal 2022 revenue of $3.76 billion to $3.78 billion -- 42% to 43% year-over-year growth on top of the 326% growth it had in fiscal 2021. But even this impressive guidance proved conservative. When it reported first-quarter results, it raised full-year revenue guidance to a range of $3.975 billion to $3.99 billion, clearly demonstrating Zoom isn't a one-year wonder.

Now what

Even with new products and ongoing revenue growth, Wall Street analysts don't seem to know what to do with Zoom stock right now. According to TipRanks, over half of prominent analysts recommend holding the stock, not buying it.

Moreover, even bullish analysts are cooling in their enthusiasm. In 2020, there were several price targets over $500 per share. Now, the highest price target is $495, set by an analyst with BTIG. According to The Fly, this analyst recommends buying Zoom stock but lowered the price target from $550 in June.

This could be to a long-term investor's advantage. Keep in mind that many analysts are only looking one year out. If I were trying to predict Zoom's price over the next 12 months, I'd be having a hard time, too -- it's simply too short a time horizon for investing. The way I see it, the company is growing by leaps and bounds organically and is armed with nearly $5 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities. With these resources, it's looking for acquisitions that can grow its market further.

Given these strengths, Zoom is a stock I'd bet on over the next five to ten years. In fact, I think it's one of the best-positioned businesses as the workforce undergoes big changes.

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Jon Quast owns shares of Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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