No paper on the table

While Zoom’s first quarterly earnings as a public company beat Wall Street’s expectations, what happens when the discussion on a call isn’t as positive?

Sometimes, earnings calls don’t go as scripted. For instance, last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk chastised an analyst who ruffled him. “[B]oring, boneheaded questions are not cool,” Musk scolded.

It’s normal for most companies to have a “war room”-like approach to earnings calls, with multiple laptops and whiteboards and notebooks out. Just check out the setup for T-Mobile’s 2019 first-quarter call, starting at the 10:30 mark:

At Zoom, though, McCallum says, “we didn’t have any paper on the table—all the stuff that we needed was up on the screen.”

Zelnick suggests that Zoom’s approach to quarterly earnings calls “raises the bar” for other companies.

There are roughly 4,000 publicly traded US companies. Surely Zoom would be happy to sell its software to any that want to use it.

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