Wall Street pushed stocks sharply higher on Friday morning, as market participants concluded that the latest employment data would lead the Federal Reserve to consider interest rate reductions more seriously. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. economy added just 75,000 nonfarm jobs during May, which was fewer than most had expected. As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 293 points to 26,014. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) gained 35 points to 2,879, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) soared 133 points to 7,748.
A number of high-profile companies have come public in recent months, and Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM) and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) got their first chances to tell investors their most recent quarterly results. Both stocks saw big gains, and the general excitement shows how hungry investors are for compelling businesses with big growth opportunities.
Zoom posts a profit
Shares of Zoom Video Communications were higher by nearly 20% following the release of its fiscal first-quarter financial results late yesterday. The video communications specialist saw revenue double from the year-ago quarter, and Zoom reversed a year-earlier loss with adjusted net income of $8.9 million, or $0.03 per share.
Zoom's growth has been staggering. The company said it has 58,500 customers with more than 10 employees, up 86% from its customer count 12 months ago. Zoom has more than doubled the number of clients that produce at least $100,000 in annual revenue, and it's also doing a good job of getting existing customers to expand their relationship with the business, posting a 130% net dollar expansion rate for the fourth quarter in a row.
Moreover, Zoom sees growth continuing at a healthy pace. Full-year sales projections of $535 million to $540 million imply a top-line growth rate of 60% to 65%, and Zoom expects to continue generating a modest profit. For a fast-growing tech company that's reinvesting money into its business, that's a rare combination for investors to see.
CEO Eric Yuan summed it up best when he said, "Delivering happiness to our customers is our number one priority. If we keep them happy, we believe we will succeed today and in the future." Investors are certainly feeling happy today, and they have high hopes for Zoom's future.
Beyond Meat sizzles
Beyond Meat's stock climbed an even sharper 30% following its first-quarter financial report. The newly public maker of plant-based meat substitutes not only enjoyed impressive growth but projected continued success for the future.
The numbers at Beyond Meat lived up to the recent IPO's hype. Revenue more than tripled to $40.2 million, and despite continued losses, the amount of red ink was consistent with past periods. The company attributed most of its gains to higher sales of its Beyond Burger, especially in light of a rise in the number of retail outlets distributing the products and more restaurants and other strategic customers coming aboard with menu items tied to Beyond Meat.
Rising demand brought increased efficiency. Gross margin soared more than 10 percentage points to 26.8%, as Beyond Meat was able to spread fixed costs across more sales. Expenses rose, but the pace of their growth was slower than the revenue gains, helping the company keep losses in check.
Beyond Meat sees no end to its upward trajectory, projecting 140% sales growth for the full year to produce $210 million in sales. Despite fears about valuation, the limited number of Beyond Meat shares outstanding and high levels of short interest are keeping the company's stock volatile.
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