COVID-19 Company Impact

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 1

The indicators of how COVID-19 is expected to impact the businesses of Chewy, Angi Homeservices, Carvana, and Credit Karma are included in the attached spreadsheet. We also provided the same information about the impacts to those companies below.

Chewy

  • Chewy's website states that due to COVID-10, "[c]urrent delivery times are running longer than usual."
  • An article from a financial publication stated the following about how Chewy is being impacted by COVID-19: "Chewy stock has fallen about 5% through the first week of March [2020] on the ongoing volatility around the coronavirus as investors have bought some stocks that might have been oversold last week. Its status as a safe harbor might not be perfect, then, and like other retailers, Chewy could experience some supply chain issues. But if the virus keeps people at home and disrupts daily life, Chewy should fare better than most of the market, since its business is mostly impervious to those challenges."
  • That same article also noted that "pet products are among the most recession-proof industries."

Angi Homeservices

  • Angi Homeservices' share prices "fell [by 11%] on coronavirus fears toward the end of February [2020]."
  • Angi Homeservices' "stock has continued to fall through the first week of March [2020], losing another 16% even as the S&P 500 finished up slightly."

Carvana

  • Carvana's website states that due to COVID-19, the company's is "[c]urrently . . . experiencing some delivery delays due to the CDC’s guidance for Pennsylvania and the Bay Area, CA." Carvana further notes that because the COVID-19 situation changes each day, it will promptly notify customers about any changes involving their deliveries.
  • As a result of regional lockdowns, Carvana has closed some of its vehicle vending machines.
  • A March 6, 2020, article from Investor Place commented on Carvana's falling stock price and stated "[a]utomobile stocks are plunging at the moment, which suggests investors are projecting weak industry revenue going forward" and "[i]t certainly seems like Carvana stock could, and maybe should, have more downside."

Credit Karma

  • Credit Karma's business model is such that it's paid by lenders or banks when customers choose their loan offerings. As such, the fact that "[t]he Federal Reserve, joined by other government agencies, has called on the financial services industry to 'meet the financial needs' of people who are affected by COVID-19" is likely to directly impact Credit Karma's business, as "[i]nterest rates have plunged during the coronavirus outbreak, and this has resulted in some of the lowest borrowing costs in history."
  • In commenting on COVID-19 in a March 16, 2020, article, Bankrate's Chief Financial Analyst, Greg McBride, stated the following: "Reducing interest rates to borrowers will ease the burden of existing debts slightly but is unlikely to spur the usual surge of borrowing as consumers and businesses batten down the hatches for a coming drop off in U.S. economic activity."
  • As a further showing of COVID-19's impact on consumer lending, there has been growing demand for "online ID verification" from fintech and online banking companies. An ID verification startup, Onfido, has experienced "a 21% increase in signups" in March 2020 . . . "[p]resumably[] so that people can gain access to financial services from their home without the need to go inside branches."
  • Many of Credit Karma's customers are asked to provide proof of identification, as part of the process for seeking personal finance offerings, such as applying for loans or credit cards through Credit Karma.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 2

The indicators of how COVID-19 is expected to impact the businesses of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), Grubhub, Peloton, and Booking.com are included in the attached spreadsheet. We also provided the same information about the impacts to those companies below.


Southern New Hampshire University

  • The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted academic activities at the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). The institution moved “all in-person instruction online” from March 16th to March 29th. It recommends that its employees and students “avoid traveling to regions with increased risk of exposure,” in particular to areas with Level 2 and Level 3. CDC Travel Health Notices. 


Grubhub

  • The COVID-19 outbreak has adversely impacted Grubhub business operations, on March 9th, Grubhub confirmed it is taking action to support independent restaurants that were affected by protective measures implemented."


Peloton

  • COVID-19 outbreak has comparatively had a positive impact on Peloton share prices which rose by 7.7% toward the end of February 2020.
  • Starting March 19th, "Peloton will produce and stream content from its new location, but it will be entirely closed to the public, until further notice" due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • "Peloton will also close its" US and international retail showrooms by March 29. "Its retail online business will operate as usual."


Booking.com

  • The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted on Booking.com operational activities negatively, most of their customers who booked trips before the COVID-19 outbreak, want to cancel these trips and have their money refunded back to them. Unfortunately, most Booking.com partners have a non-refund policy. To assist their customers in getting some of their money back, Booking.com has extended its policy on Force Majeure / Forced Cancellations to certain areas impacted by travel restrictions linked to coronavirus.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 3

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting companies on numerous levels. Diversified insurance companies such as Esurance will likely see only moderate losses from COVID-19 related insurance claims, while needing to adapt to employees working remotely. Wireless providers like Consumer Cellular may see a shortage in new cell phones and other electronics, while the demand for service should remain stable. Medical DNA testing companies such as 23andMe could benefit from the sudden need for new COVID-19 tests and monitoring technology. And finally, home food delivery services, such as Hello Fresh, will likely see a rise in demand as people stay at home during the crisis.

Esurance

  • Esurance offers a variety of insurance plans, including car, home, renters, condo, motorcycle, and life insurance. Esurance's diversity of insurance options may help mitigate any potential losses. While life insurance claims may be moderately impacted due to COVID-19 deaths, car insurance claims are forecast to have low impact, due to the decrease in travel activity.
  • It appears Esurance is still operating effectively at the current time based on information on their website; Esurance informs customers to interact with them remotely, reminds new customers that they can still purchase new plans online, and indicates they are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and taking necessary steps.

Consumer Cellular

  • Cell-phone service providers are not yet reporting changes in service-based usage.
  • The supply for physical phones and devices is starting to be impacted due to the stop in production in China and other countries.
  • While many companies, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are offering assistance in the form of free internet hotspot access and unlimited data to their customers, Consumer Cellular has not made any announcements publicly or on their web page to address the COVID-19 crisis, other than to keep phones clean.

23 and me

  • With the increased demand for COVID-19 testing and monitoring, 23andMe could look into designing DNA-sequencing technology to monitor COVID-19.
  • 23andMe could also look into designing COVIC-19 test kits, since the FDA "will allow private companies to begin marketing coronavirus test kits directly to the public, in a new initiative to ease a chronic shortage of test kits."
  • While there appears to be a critical need for COVID-19 tests, there is no indication on 23andMe's web page of their awareness or intent to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Hello Fresh

  • CEO Dominik Richter believes the coronavirus will not negatively impact Hello Fresh due to its diversity of suppliers and limited contact with Asia.
  • A Hello Fresh spokesperson stated there is currently no disruption to their meal kit delivery service.
  • Increased online grocery shopping is expected to positively impact home delivery and meal kit services immediately due to the COVID-19 crisis, which may also lead to consumers developing a habit for repeating these services after the epidemic.
  • The COVID-19 crisis has shown increased demand on home-delivery for food as people are forced to stay home.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 4

The indicators of how COVID-19 is expected to impact Indeed, Apollo Group, Ancestry, and Noom are available in the attached spreadsheet. A summary of the findings has been outlined below.

Indeed

  • Indeed is an online recruitment site that was established in November 2004, linking employers to potential employees.
  • Indeed issued a press release urging its employees to work from home. Additionally, it suspended business travel and canceled all ''near term indeed hosted events.''
  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, studies indicate a growth in online recruitment.

Apollo Group

  • Apollo Education Group is a leading provider of tertiary education. The group comprises the University of Phoenix, College of Financial Planning and Western University.
  • The University of Phoenix has a dedicated site for updates and guidelines on the COVID-19 virus. Learning activities have been suspended at Western University due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ancestry

  • Ancestry hasn't made any formal announcements on its press site or blog about the impacts of COVID-19.
  • There are no news articles specifically mentioning Ancestry in relation to COVID-19.

Noom

  • Noom hasn't made any formal announcements on its website or blog about any impact from COVID-19.
  • There are no news articles specifically mentioning Noom in relation to COVID-19.

Research Strategy

We searched for any press releases, announcements, or actions from each company on their official website and in news articles, business databases, and industry reports.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 5

For both Etrade and Credit Sesame, the impact of the virus on their business has related to the mergers they have been involved in, though the impact of the virus there has been minor. Eharmony, as part of the dating app industry, has likely seen an increase in membership as a result of COVID-19. While Casper hasn't noted any changes yet, other retail stores are reducing hours or closing most of their physical stores. Here is a link to the spreadsheet, with rows 18-21 completed.

Etrade

  • Etrade has a COVID-19 preparedness plan, though it doesn't provide details about it. On its dedicated COVID-19 page, the company only reassures consumers that it is " committed to being responsive to the needs of our customers as the situation evolves." It mentions that it is following information from the WHO and the CDC, and that it has a strategy and plans in place to continue operating during the course of the virus.
  • Etrade says it is keeping as many of its branches open as possible, and it is taking extra steps to sanitize equipment and spaces throughout the day and is providing hand sanitizer to both workers and customers.
  • The virus has affected the prices of acquisitions, in this case the price of Morgan Stanley's acquisition of Etrade in February. The COVID-19 virus however was excluded from the material adverse effect (MAE) definition. The $14.5 billion deal is the "largest acquisition by a Wall Street firm since the financial crisis." Though the virus is excluded from the MAE, if either party experiences a “disproportionate adverse effect” as a result of the corona virus, the exclusion may not apply. That would mean the other party could claim a MAE had occurred.

Eharmony

  • Eharmony has not made any public announcements about measures resulting from or impacts of the COVID-19 virus. There are also no news articles mentioning any impact on the company.
  • Eharmony is a dating app, and part of the computer networking industry.
  • Studies suggest that usage of dating apps has increased as a result of the virus, or since the virus became viral news in the media. According to one survey, 25.6% of users said they were motivated by the spread of COVID-19 to sign up to an app.
  • Other dating apps are warning users to avoid physical contact with new partners. They are noting that "there are other ways to have fun," including sexting, phone or video sex, and are encouraging users to "stay safe" and "make smart decisions."

Credit Sesame

  • As a company, Credit Sesame has not yet announced any changes or impacts from COVID-19. It's blog doesn't mention the virus, nor does its press page.
  • The only announcement Credit Sesame has made since December 31, when the first COVID-19 case was identified, was on March 10 and it is about the launch of a digital banking service that helps consumers grow their credit.
  • Barron's notes that the virus hasn't "totally stopped" merger and acquisition talk, with Intuit looking at acquiring fin tech firms such as Finicity and Credit Sesame.
  • Credit Sesame has provided some advice to consumers and companies for staying financially afloat during the volatile period.
  • Credit Sesame is part of the financial services industry. US regulators and congress are asking companies in this industry to do everything they can to minimize any adverse financial impacts on consumers affected by the pandemic. House and Senate lawmakers have requested responses from these companies about their planned measures to prevent economic harm to such consumers. The House Financial Services Committee also sent letters to companies asking them what plans they have to protect their own workers.

Casper

  • Casper hasn't made any formal announcements on its press site or blog about any impact of COVID-19. There are also no news articles specifically mentioning the company in relation to COVID-19.
  • Casper is a bedding and mattress company, and part of the retail industry. Other retail stores such as T-mobile and Microsoft have closed 80-100% of their physical stores. Numerous other retail outlets have also closed and are encouraging customers to shop online, while some stores like Walmart have reduced their trading hours.
  • As a result of these closures, large numbers of job losses are expected in the retail industry. Across the board, a UBS survey conducted this week found that 24% of employers in the US plan to downsize. In Ireland, between last week and this week, a total of 340,000 retail jobs will likely be lost. A few retailers are providing their employees with full pay during the closures.

Research Strategy

We searched for any press releases, announcements, or actions from each company on their official website and in the news. In many cases, there weren't any, so then we researched the impact of the virus on the company's industry.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 6

The indicators of how COVID-19 is expected to impact the businesses of Chime Bank, SodaStream, Bombas and Dollar Shave Club are included in rows 22–25 of the attached spreadsheet. All the companies have been impacted in different ways as explained in the following section.

Chime Bank

  • So far, there haven’t been any public statements or announcements made by Chime Bank on the impact that the COVID-19 has had on its business. The digital-only bank has also not made known any actions that it is taking or planning to consider amidst the effects of the corona virus.
  • However, analysts believe that if more people stay at home, Chime could suffer losses in terms of reduced revenue. That may happen because the bank depends on revenue coming from transaction fees that merchants pay when the bank’s customers swipe their debit cards.
  • Industry experts also predict slowdown in the fin tech sector that will have a negative impact on the valuations of fin tech companies such as Chime as their profitability reduces following a drop in transactions at all levels of the economy.

Dollar Shave Club

  • As one of Unilever’s brands, the Dollar Shave Club is affected by statements and announcements made but its parent company. On Match 13th, the company announced a set of measures to protect its employees and their families, including having all its office-based employees work from home.
  • The company also suspended air travel by its employees or their contractors or suppliers. The supply chain for Dollar Shave Club is likely to be affected by the travel restrictions, thereby causing shortages and delays in product distribution.
  • An Ibis World report suggests that the personal care retail industries are expected to experience a slight bump in sales in the short term as consumers stock up on personal care products in what is known as panic buying.

SodaStream

Bombas

Part
07
of eight
Part
07

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 7

The attached spreadsheet contains information on how the outlined companies are expected to be impacted by COVID-19.

Custom Ink

  • In an effort to minimize and finally stop the spreading of COVD-19, custom ink has started to spread the word on the importance of keeping social distance by printing t-shirts that reads 'If you can read this shirt, you're too close'.
  • New England show choir competitions were suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak. In this respect, custom ink came up with commemorative t-shirts featuring the names of the New England choirs that were slated to share the stage.
  • Custom ink company has also started a campaign to help families affected by corona virus by directing all their proceeds to those affected.

Rakuten

Lovesac

  • The escalating outbreak of corona virus has led to a close down of all Lovesac showroom locations from March 17, 2020 to April 5, 2020.
  • However, there will be full pay and benefits for all showroom associates, for their scheduled shifts during that time.
  • Online shopping at Lovesac will be enhanced, given that the company has a unique ability to deliver to its customers through its e-commerce delivery model.

Vroom

  • The amendments of 2020 season calendar by RMCET promoters Camp Company GmbH and MW Race Consulting due to COVID-19 outbreak has affected Vroom international as one of the promoters, making them to postpone their operations on the same.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

COVID-19 Company Impact, Pt. 8

Rows 30-33 of the attached spreadsheet contains information on how the outlined companies are expected to be impacted by COVID-19.

Amazon.com

CuriosityStream

  • CuriosityStream has not made any public announcements about measures resulting from or impacts of the COVID-19 virus on its website. There are also no news articles mentioning any impact on the company.
  • However, the award-winning streaming company recently published a documentary on its website and YouTube channel with several coronavirus epidemic episodes highlighting the outbreak, its spread, efforts to curb the virus, and the global impact.
  • Due the outbreak, more people at home are looking for options to entertain themselves. The CEO and president of CuriosityStream, Clint Stinchcomb, announced that the company is planning to get more aggressive with email marketing, offering discounted deals to subscribers and offer some series episodes on its paywall to attract new subscribers.

Purple

  • Purple has neither reported any COVID-19 impacts nor response on participation rates currently. There are also no news articles or company blogs mentioning the company’s reaction towards COVID-19.
  • Purple is a mattress company, and part of the retail industry. Other retail stores such as Mattress Firm have announced the several precautions they are taking against COVID-19 in their retail stores, including increased regular cleaning of high-touch points, providing consumers with pillow napkin protectors, and having hand sanitizers available at customer pick-up points.

Etsy

  • In an attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Etsy offered advice and warning to its sellers. The company announced that its Trust and Safety team is “actively monitoring and taking down listings related to the virus,” which are against its policies, including products that falsely claim to protect consumers against the product.
  • In early March, Etsy announced that it is cracking down on merchants that are trying to “make a quick buck off the COVID-19 outbreak” with products that are virus-themed. The website removed items listings mentioning the virus, including soaps, shirts, and mugs featuring jokes about the diseases.
  • Although Etsy reported increased sales in its fourth-quarter earnings, the company announced that due to coronavirus, it would start to take advertising fees on its seller’s products. The company CEO, Josh Silverman, reported that the virus outbreak is already affecting its supply chain.
Sources
Sources

From Part 05