Zoom’s share price has taken a sharp hit following reports that a major vaccine trial had successfully inoculated nine out of 10 participants.
Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech announced on Monday morning early results showing their vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19.
By the time US markets opened a few hours later shares in the company behind the popular video conferencing app had dropped nearly 20 per cent, wiping off around $28 billion (£21 billion) from its value.
It was starting to creep up again at the time of publication, alongside other companies which benefit from stay-at-home advice such as Netflix (down 7.6 per cent on its closing price) and Amazon (down 2.4 per cent).
The hit set Zoom’s stock market gains back to mid-September, although it is still up 504 per cent this year.
Investors who bought shares in the company just before the first UK lockdown began would still be able to sell them for almost four times as much today. It comes as a vaccine expert predicted life will return to normal ‘by spring’ in response to the Pfizer announcement.
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Sir John Bell, an Oxford University medicine professor said: ‘I am really delighted with this result – it shows that you can make a vaccine against this little critter. Ninety per cent is an amazing level of efficacy.’
Asked if people could look forward to a return to normal life by the spring, Sir John replied: ‘Yes, yes, yes. I am probably the first guy to say that but I will say that with some confidence.’
Sir John and others have cautioned that distributing the vaccine could be ‘challenging’.
While the UK has pre-approved access to tens of millions of doses, the time taken to manufacture them and inoculate enough people could delay the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
Many companies have also indicated they may not rush to call employees back into offices, so the news is unlikely to spell disaster for Zoom, which has 30,000 corporate clients.
Meanwhile environmental campaigners have urged companies to reconsider whether as many in-office workers and meetings are needed, and housing market analysts have pointed to a mass exodus of city-dwellers into suburbs and the countryside in pursuit of more space.Photo Credit: Getty