Sergei Klebnikov Forbes Staff
High-flying video conferencing service Zoom, which has seen skyrocketing demand during the coronavirus pandemic, is now worth more than ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies.
As of 2:30 p.m. ET, Zoom sported a market valuation of $139 billion, compared to Exxon’s $138.9 billion. Zoom began the year with a market cap of $19 billion. While Zoom posted $1.35 billion in revenue over the past 12 months, Exxon, by comparison, posted $213.8 billion in revenue during that time period.
Exxon announced on Thursday that it would lay off 1,900 U.S. employees, the latest effort to reduce costs and improve efficiency during the pandemic. Exxon has seen its operations pressured by coronavirus like other energy companies, many of which have taken steps to improve balance sheets, reduce staff and in some cases suspend dividends. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, currently trades at around $36 per barrel, down from over $62 as recently as January.
Zoom founder Eric Yuan, meanwhile, has seen his own fortune nearly double over the past three months. Since appearing on The Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest people, which used stock prices from July 24, his net worth has nearly doubled, rising from $11 billion to $21.3 billion as of 2:30 p.m. ET on October 29.
Yuan’s fortune has soared in tandem with Zoom’s business, which has grown at a fast clip as millions of people working from home continue to rely on video-conferencing. Zoom is one of the best performing stocks so far in 2020, largely weathering the pandemic-induced sell-off in March and rising by more than 600% over the year.
The company handily beat earnings expectations in the second quarter ended August 31, with $663.5 million in revenue (far outpacing analysts’ forecasts of $500.5 million)—and it expects to keep growing at a rapid pace. Zoom now forecasts up to $690 million in revenue for the current quarter (through the end of October) ; the company also raised its financial guidance for the full fiscal year, through January 2021, to almost $2.4 billion in revenue, up from $623 million for the year through January 2020, as it takes into account even more growing “demand for remote work solutions for businesses.”
Yuan isn’t the only one getting richer from his company’s success. Zoom’s chief financial officer since 2017, Kelly Steckelberg, has also seen her fortune grow. She debuted on the Forbes Richest Self Made Women list on October 13 with a net worth of $255 million. She is now worth more than $340 million.