Zoom's long-term investment thesis is alive. It remains the best-of-breed for work-from-home communication solutions. Zoom has become a verb, very much like 'Skype,' 'Google,' and 'DocuSign.' This achievement alone demonstrates Zoom possesses an incredible combination of moats in branding and network effects. As it grows, it adds more value, and users will find it very hard to leave. Unsurprisingly, Zoom is now a $100B company. But it isn't going to stop.

Competitive advantage/moat

Moats are commonly categorized into four types: Network effects, low costs, high switching cost, and intangible assets.

Zoom possesses the most powerful ones, network effects, and brand name. Zoom is reliable, easy to use, and easily deployable. Zoom's net promoter score ('NPS') is incredibly high +70. Competitors do not even compare. None has the virality effect in 2020, quite like Zoom.

As Zoom expands features, use cases, and integrates deeper into other platforms, we believe Zoom would also acquire the high switching cost moat. While this moat isn't seen as necessary as the first two, it would help Zoom to retain customers and maintain a large user base to monetize.

Revenue was $777M, up 367% YoY from $167M, an acceleration of 17% from $646M in Q2'21. Q3'21 revenue was 24% higher than its entire revenue in FY20.

International revenue was 30% and grew 629% vs. 300% domestically.

Gross margin was 68.2%, a significant drop from 83% YoY and 72.3% QoQ due to a considerable increase in free users' usage, particularly in K-12 education intuitions. During the quarter, Zoom recorded 3.5 trillion meeting minutes, up 75% QoQ. Once Covid-related usage diminishes, we expect gross margin to improve towards Zoom's long-term target.

Operating margin was 37.4%, up from 12.8% in Q3 last year, and a decrease from Q2'21's margin of 41.7%. The figure is still extremely high and demonstrates exceptional operating leverage.

Free cash flow was £388M, up from $55M in Q3 last year. That's a 50% free cash flow margin (!). Management intends to maintain a high R&D budget of 10% of sales over the long-term. Thus, Zoom's high free cash flow generation allows Zoom to continue fuelling growth.

The outlook is excellent in our view. The FY21 revenue of 2.58B is a five-fold increase from FY20. Q4'21 revenue will be almost 40% higher than the entire revenue in FY20.

Remember that Zoom is a best-of-breed SaaS company that can touch everyone (almost)'s lives. In effect, Zoom is listening, watching, and collecting the most granule data from people's lives, at work and home. The data Zoom collects provides optionality long into the future. For the short to medium term, Zoom Phone, better monetization, K-12 free users' conversion, and expansion into telehealth, commerce, workflow, fitness, and internationally should provide a surprise boost to Zoom's growth.

SOURCE : Zoom: Will Surprise Your Portfolio In 2021, Multifaceted Growth Ahead, DTF CAPITAL, 06 Jan 2021, SeekingAlpha


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