Market Overview

Webcam, Computer Accessory Demand Booms As Workers Telecommute During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Webcam, Computer Accessory Demand Booms As Workers Telecommute During Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the nature of work and sparked demand for an ecosystem of products and services that facilitate remote work and social distancing.

Demand for products such as webcams, computer accessories, PCs and notebooks has been on the rise since the outbreak became a pandemic. 

"Whether working or learning from home, productivity hardware is required — and with many Americans settling into this new reality, we saw historic sales increases over the first two weeks of March," Stephen Baker, VP of technology and mobile at NPD, said in a blog post. 

New Lease On Life For Webcams 

Webcams have become sine qua non for those working from home using computers. 

This is evident from the 179% year-over-year jump in webcam sales in the first three weeks of March, according to Yahoo Finance, which cited NPD data.

Logitech International SA (NASDAQ: LOGI), the leader in webcam sales, said it has depleted its inventory, with e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) also running out of stock, USA Today reported.

The supply shortage has led to price gouging on used cameras, the report said. 

In late February, JPMorgan analyst Paul Chung upgraded Logitech from Neutral to Overweight with a $48 price target.

One of the key premises behind the upgrade was "possible upside to webcam demand, given the indirect benefit from the Coronavirus impacts as travel is restricted, and working from home is encouraged."

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Other companies that are likely to benefit from the opportunity presented by the renewed demand for webcams are:

  • Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE)
  • Creative Technology Ltd (OTC: CREAF)

Computer, Accessory Demands Go Through The Roof

Sales of laptops and desktops rose 40% in the first three weeks of March in the U.S., while sales of keyboards, PC headset and monitor sales increased 64%, 134% and 138%, respectively, in the same period, according to NPD data. 

This should bode well for computer manufacturers such as Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE: DELL), HP Inc (NYSE: HPQ) and Lenovo Group Limited (OTC: LNVGY), among others.

PC chip suppliers such as Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) and software companies such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) also stand to gain.

At the same time, supply side issues stemming from the COVID-19 crisis have impacted shipments of traditional PCs, including desktops, notebook and workstations, according to IDC.

The report said global traditional PC shipments fell 9.8% year-over-year in the quarter despite increased demand to meet remote work and school needs.

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