These 30 Companies Struck Gold During Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had devastating financial effects on numerous businesses and

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had devastating financial effects on numerous businesses and sectors. According to data collected by Yelp, roughly 180,000 businesses were closed by April and nearly 100,000 reported in August that they will never reopen. Restaurants, bars and nightlife venues have been hit the hardest, and retail and beauty businesses have also suffered major economic losses, with many permanently closing their doors.

And it’s not just small businesses that are suffering. A number of major companies have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of the pandemic, including J. Crew, Gold’s Gym, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, Pier 1 Imports, Hertz, GNC and California Pizza Kitchen. Although stay-at-home orders have been lifted in most states, the negative financial effects of the lockdown will be long term for many companies.

On the flip side, several companies have been thriving and actually saw an increase in revenues and profits during the lockdown period. With people spending more time at home — living and working — companies that offered online shopping, home entertainment, easy takeout meals and remote work technology have seen an influx in consumer dollars. See which companies struck gold during the lockdown and how some are paying it forward.

Last updated: Sept. 24, 2020

Activision Blizzard

It seems like many people turned to video games to stay entertained while stuck at home. In the second quarter of 2020, video game maker Activision Blizzard’s earnings jumped 52.8% year over year, Yahoo Finance reported. Revenues surged 74.4% year over year to $2 billion. And monthly active users jumped from 327 million in June 2019 to 428 million as of June 2020. Product sales also increased by 48.5% year over year to $533 million.

Adobe

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said during an earnings call that the shift to remote work has driven a surge in demand for digital documents, with use of web-based PDF services like Adobe up nearly 40% quarter over quarter and the number of documents shared in Adobe Acrobat up 50% year over year, S&P Global reported. That’s been good news for the software company’s bottom line. Total revenue for the quarter that ended on May 29 came to $3.13 billion, up 14% from the prior-year period. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $2.87 billion, product revenue was $128 million and services and support revenue was $126 million.

Amazon

With many people avoiding regular trips to the store, consumers have become even more reliant on e-commerce sites to get their essentials. This has proven fruitful for Amazon so far — consumer spending on the site between May and July was up 60% from the same time frame last year, Facteus reported. Even when the pandemic ends, consumers’ propensity for online shopping is predicted to linger. UBS predicts that by 2025, e-commerce will make up 25% of total retail sales, up from 15% in 2019.

Apple

With people spending more time at home, and many times working from home, the demand for apps and remote work equipment increased — and so did Apple’s sales. The consumer electronics company reported an 11% increase in quarterly sales compared to the third quarter the previous year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Apple’s revenue for the third quarter of 2020 was $59.69 billion, even as coronavirus outbreaks led the company to close its retail stores. Profits rose about 12% to $11.25 billion, or $2.58 a share.

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Chipotle Mexican Grill

The pandemic has, for the most part, been devastating to the food industry, but Chipotle actually seems to have benefited from it. In August, Chipotle’s stock closed at roughly $1,200 — up by a third from its pre-pandemic price, Restaurant Business reported. Chipotle’s focus on digital sales has paid off, as consumers eschewed restaurant dining for easy takeout options.

DocuSign

Because of the pandemic, most document signing has had to happen virtually — and DocuSign’s software makes this process pretty seamless. The company is now valued at $37 billion — more than Ford Motor, eBay and Best Buy, CNN reported. Shares have skyrocketed more than 170% in 2020, and DocuSign added more customers during the first half of this year than in all of 2019.

Domino’s

Chipotle isn’t the only restaurant chain that’s been cashing in on the upswing in takeout and delivery. Domino’s U.S. sales rose 16% for its fiscal second quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It seems consumers have reacted favorably to Domino’s pandemic-friendly delivery and takeout options, including “contactless” delivery and an option for employees to place an order directly in your car for pickup.

Etsy

Etsy has benefited from the increase in online shopping during the lockdown. In August, the internet retailer reported a triple-digit increase in gross merchandise sales thanks to an influx of 11.5 million new buyers and 7.2 million reactivated buyers — buyers who hadn’t previously purchased from the site in a year or more, Fox Business reported.

Etsy became a go-to online retailer for face masks, and mask sales accounted for 14% of its overall gross merchandise sales. But even excluding mask sales, Etsy’s gross merchandise sales growth was up $1 billion year over year — an increase of 93%.

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Facebook

Facebook’s monthly active users have risen 12% from the previous year, The New York Times reported. The company said that it was seeing record levels of engagement and usage this year as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns around the world.

Facebook’s revenue for the second quarter rose 11% from 2019 to $18.7 billion and profit jumped 98% to $5.2 billion.

The Home Depot

As Americans spent more time at home, many decided to take on home improvement projects using funds they would have otherwise spent on travel, gym memberships and other activities that were no longer an option due to lockdowns.

As of August, The Home Depot had posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Revenue for the country’s largest home improvement retailer rose by 23% to $38.05 billion in the May to July period, up from $30.84 billion during the same time period in 2019.

Lowe’s

Like Home Depot, Lowe’s has benefited from consumers spending less time and money out of the house and more in it. Lowe’s said that customers bought supplies for DIY projects, began home renovations and improved their landscaping during the coronavirus pandemic. That led to huge gains for the home improvement retailer with a 30% boost in revenue and 68.7% rise in profit during the fiscal second quarter, CNBC reported.

Lululemon

With offices closed, many Americans are living in athleisure on a daily basis. This led to surprise revenue growth for Lululemon as consumers stocked up on workout apparel and yoga accessories, CNBC reported.

Microsoft

As people began working remotely, the need for cloud computing increased. At the same time, people were spending more time at home playing video games. Both of these trends proved profitable for Microsoft, whose overall revenue grew 13% year over year for the quarter ending June 30, CNBC reported. Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business segment — which includes the Azure public cloud, Windows Server, SQL Server, GitHub and enterprise services — brought in $13.37 billion in revenue, up 17% year over year. Xbox content and services revenue was up 65% year over year, with record engagement as people stayed home and played more video games.

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Netflix

Netflix saw a major increase in subscriptions as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, with 10.1 million new streaming subscribers in the second quarter of 2020 — a new second-quarter record for the company, Variety reported. Netflix posted revenue of $6.15 billion for the quarter — up 25% year over year — and a net income of $1.59 per share.

Nvidia

Tech company Nvidia has seen revenues of $3.87 billion in the second fiscal quarter of the year — a 50% year-over-year increase, Nasdaq reported. Although the pandemic negatively impacted the company’s professional visualization and automotive businesses, its data center and gaming revenue largely offset these losses.

Papa John’s

Papa John’s sales surged during the coronavirus pandemic as more consumers stayed in and ordered takeout and delivery, CNBC reported. The company estimates its same-store sales growth was 24.2% from July 27 through Aug. 23.

PayPal

PayPal — the parent company of Venmo, Honeywell, Braintree and more — saw its revenue increase 22% in the second fiscal quarter, CNBC reported. The company also achieved record user growth, adding 21.3 million new net active accounts in the quarter. One reason for PayPal’s growth is that delivery operators like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates rely on online payments to carry out transactions.

“I think what’s happened is the world has accelerated from physical to digital across almost every industry,” CEO Dan Schulman said in a “Mad Money” interview.

ServiceNow

ServiceNow, an enterprise software company, reached a $4 billion subscription revenue annual run rate as of the second fiscal quarter, according to a company press release. Subscription revenues from that quarter alone reached $1.01 billion, representing 30% year-over-year growth.

CEO Bill McDermott credits a shift to digitized workflows for the company’s record growth.

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Shopify

E-commerce platform Shopify saw its revenue nearly double in the second fiscal quarter, as the company benefited from the online shopping boom spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported. More businesses signed up to use Shopify’s platform to take advantage of this boom, leading revenue to surge to $714.3 million in the quarter — up from $362 million during the same quarter last year. The number of new stores created on its platform increased by 71% between the first and second quarters of the year.

Spotify

As of the second fiscal quarter, shares of Spotify were up about 80% since the start of the year as more users signed up for its music streaming services and paid subscribers reached 138 million, CNBC reported. Monthly active users rose 29% to 299 million.

Square

Contactless payment options became the go-to during the pandemic lockdowns, so it’s no surprise that Square’s Cash App revenue more than doubled from a year earlier to $325 million in the second quarter, Fox Business reported. In addition, because Square made it convenient for consumers to receive their financial stimulus checks and unemployment benefits via the Cash App, the amount of money stored in the app reached $1.7 billion in the second quarter — 3 1/2 times more than during the same period in 2019. As of June, monthly active Cash App users exceeded 30 million.

Tencent

Tencent — China’s largest social media company — has benefited from an internet resurgence during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported. Its revenue grew at its fastest pace in two years, and sales rose 29% to 114.9 billion yuan ($16.5 billion) in the second fiscal quarter

In addition to owning the chat app WeChat, Tencent won approval from Beijing to earn money from Call of Duty Mobile. It also launched new games, like Brawl Stars, which drove a 40% increase in the conglomerate’s online gaming revenue for the quarter — its biggest increase since 2017.

Tesla

Tesla has managed to stay profitable through one of the worst economic disruptions in history, The Wall Street Journal reported. This is due in part to its sale of regulatory credits. The auto company’s share price has grown fourfold this year.

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Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse was quick to adapt to the coronavirus shutdowns, adding curbside service to keep sales coming in while its dining rooms were closed, Restaurant Business reported. This move proved to be a smart financial one, as the company is now generating enough revenue to resume its development projects.

TikTok

Many people looking to escape the negative news cycle amid the pandemic turned to the video-sharing app TikTok, which was downloaded 315 million times from January through March, according to analytics company Sensor Tower. That’s the most any app has been downloaded in a single quarter. TikTok has now been downloaded 2 billion times — doubling its total downloads from just 15 months ago, CNN reported.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile is now the country’s second-largest cellphone carrier after closing its merger with Sprint in April, the Wall Street Journal reported. The telecom company’s second-quarter results also showed that it has weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than its competitors, adding 253,000 postpaid phone customers during the quarter.

Wayfair

In August, online furniture retailer Wayfair reported that it was profitable for the first time since going public in 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company credits the pandemic for its boost in sales, as more people were shopping online and specifically buying home goods to improve their living and working spaces. Wayfair posted a $274 million profit on $4.3 billion in sales — an 84% jump in sales.

Wendy’s

Wendy’s launched a breakfast menu in early March, just two weeks before the pandemic took hold of the country. Fortunately, the timing has worked out for the fast-food chain — breakfast has sustained 8% of Wendy’s overall sales, which is strong for an early introduction, according to Restaurant Business.

Wingstop

Before the pandemic hit, Wingstop had been focused on bolstering its digital and delivery capabilities, so it was primed to meet delivery and takeout demand when the U.S. went under lockdown. The chain has thrived as customers ordered group-sized orders of chicken wings for takeout and delivery, Restaurant Business reported.

Zoom

As the country went under lockdown, video conferencing capabilities became more vital than ever for both business and personal interactions. Zoom has certainly benefited from this need. The telecom company’s second-quarter sales more than quadrupled from a year ago to $663.5 million, while profit grew to $185.7 million from just $5.5 million during the same quarter in 2019, NPR reported.

Although medium and large companies make up the majority of Zoom’s paying clients, it has been growing in popularity with small businesses as well: 36% of revenue now comes from clients with 10 or fewer employees, up from 30% in the first quarter.

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