We all are aware of increasing cases of coronavirus on a global scale and its impact on individuals and the world economy. As reported by the World Health Organization on 6 April 2020, total coronavirus positive cases exceeded 1.2 million with death count crossing 67,594.
In such a scenario, preparedness of a company to continue its operations while safeguarding its employees, catering to customers and supporting its communities speaks a lot, highlighting its ability to address potential business impacts during uncertain times.
Here in this article, we are discussing three IT players - Xero, NEXTDC and Sezzle, which are considered as popular stocks amongst investors, majorly owing to their business, scope of business growth in the future and their stock performance. Let us discuss what they are doing to deal with this unavoidable situation.
Xero Limited (ASX: XRO)
Xero Limited (ASX: XRO), boasting more than 2 million subscribers, is a provider of online accounting software with time-saving tools that are required for business growth. Some of its popular features include:
- Easy invoicing
- Go Mobile- ability to work with tablets and phones (iPhone and iPad & Android)
- 800+ third-party apps
- Attach source files to data
- Create and email custom purchase orders
- Claim expenses
- Pay bills
Recently, Xero highlighted new initiatives undertaken by the Company to assist its customers and community during this challenging period, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are millions of small businesses that depend on Xero on a daily basis to operate their business online and the Company’s purpose is to make their business better. On this front, the Company is working hard to make sure that the customers have access to their financial information at any time.
XRO Initiatives -
- Dedicated Customer Response Team: The customers can reach the customer response team via Xero Central for any assistance on a case-by-case basis related to the initiatives put in place to support them.
- Business Continuity Hub: This hub brings together crucial data from government organisations around stimulus packages for business in the crucial areas where the Company operates. The area includes Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Canada, Singapore and South Africa. The hub has various practical tools as well as educational resources to assist the customers through this tough situation.
- Government outreach: In most of the countries, the government has announced stimulus packages, and, on this front, the Company is working with governments to facilitate better direct support to small businesses wherever required.
- Small Business Payment Terms: Made changes to its small company supplier payment conditions from 1 April 2020, wherein XRO will aim to compensate small business suppliers’ invoices worldwide within 10 working days.
- Cash flow Tools: For small businesses, a view of cash flow is very critical. Thus, the Company ensured that its clients get access to all the tools needed to make further plans.
- Planned Price Increase Paused: The Company has postponed a price increase for those that were due during mid-March 2020 until 1 July 2020. Customers would be able to use Hubdoc covered in their Xero Business Edition plans.
On 7 April 2020 (AEST 12:31 PM), XRO was trading at $70.060, up 0.966% from its previous close. The Company has a market cap of $9.84 billion and its stock has delivered a positive return of 10% in the last six months.
NEXTDC Limited (ASX: NXT)
NEXTDC Limited (ASX: NXT) is an ASX 200 listed technology company and is the most innovative data centre-as-a-service provider in Asia.
On 3 April 2020, NEXTDC Limited announced the completion of the institutional placement, wherein the Company raised ~ $672 million by issuing 86.1 million new shares. Each share was issued at a price of $7.80.
The Company also updated that eligible shareholders with shares of NEXTDC at 7.00 pm AEST on 1 April 2020 and registered address in Australia or New Zealand would have the opportunity to apply for $30,000 new shares via the share purchase plan, subjected to a minimum application amount of $1,000.
Apart from this, the Company, to address the problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, has taken swift action to support the health and well-being of its team, partners, suppliers and customers visiting their data centres.
In spite of the fast-changing environment surrounding COVID-19, NXT has bolstered the importance of community & working together.
The Company announced that it would be waiving off all new AXON port service fees for 6 months for the providers of essential services that continue to generously support the broader community. The offer made by the Company is open to all qualified providers for any new AXON port across the national AXON network, that allows direct, private connectivity to more than 600 ICT service providers that include the leading public cloud platforms.
On 7 April 2020 (AEST 12:45 PM), NXT was trading at $8.720, down 0.683% from its previous close. The Company has a market cap of $3.03 billion and its stock has delivered a positive return of 41.61% in the last six months.
Sezzle Inc. (ASX: SZL)
Technology-enabled payments company, Sezzle Inc. (ASX: SZL), on 6 April 2020, released its key operating metrics for Q1 FY2020 ended 31 March 2020. Despite the global economic challenges arising from COVID-19, the Company’s performance in the first quarter reflects the path of robust growth across all key operating metrics while maintaining a strong financial position.
- Underlying Merchant Sales (UMS) grew to record levels, registering an increase of 13.6% QoQ and 321% YoY to US$119.4 million
- Active Merchant growth soared by 27% QoQ to 12,715
- Active customer base increased by more than 25% QoQ, exceeding 1.1 million
- Forbes named Sezzle #29 on the list of Best Startup Employers in America for 2020.
- Sezzle unveiled its new Brand “The Way Forward” messaging, enabling End-users to “Buy Now, Build Your Future.”
The Company has already taken steps to protect its employees, support consumers, and actively communicate with merchant partners. On 16 March 2020, Sezzle had announced to have implemented compulsory work-from-home policy and suspended all business travels.
It has all the required systems to aid a fully remote team as well as provide service to end-users & merchant partners with no business disruptions. Also, the Company has provided unlimited sick time for those who have symptoms of coronavirus.
SZL has also introduced its fee forgiveness and payment flexibility programs to assist shoppers. Every Sezzle shopper would be able to use two free reschedules of payments on their orders during this tough moment.
The Company also confirmed that the business operations experienced no impact. The financials remain strong due to its efficient business operations along with the recent IPO in July 2019, wherein it raised US$30.3 million. SZL has a committed US$100 million credit facility to assist its business growth. Only 20% of this facility has been drawn so far.
On 7 April 2020 (AEST 12:55 PM), SZL was trading at $1.490, up 10.37% from its previous close. The Company has a market cap of $241.56 million and its stock has delivered a negative return of 44.67% in the last six months.
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