Morgan Stanley on tech winners, losers after coronavirus pandemic

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A US Postal worker delivers Amazon boxes outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 11, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

A handful companies will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, while others will likely weaken, according to a research note Monday from Morgan Stanley. 

In total, the firm sees Amazon, Uber, Google, Facebook, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Chewy and online gaming companies Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, Zynga and Glu as “stronger post downturn.” The companies Morgan Stanley expects to be “weaker post downturn” include Yelp, Quotient Technology, Groupon, Casper, Trivago and Expedia. 

For e-commerce sites Amazon and Chewy, the analysts said that consumers will likely shift toward shopping online in the long-term for necessities like groceries or pet supplies.

“The extent to which people realize the ease/convenience of shopping for groceries/consumables online over the next weeks/month could be a positive for new customer acquisition growth, a key area of pushback, as well as autoship penetration, and greater basket size as consumers move more of their grocery/consumable budgets online,” the analysts said in their note. 

The firm also expects advertising dollars to quickly move back to Google and Facebook, which has seen a hit in revenue. Uber, meanwhile, is “more utility-like than appreciated,” which will allow its business to snap back faster than others, the analysts said. 

However, Morgan Stanley said that some companies with high exposure to small and medium size businesses, like Yelp and Groupon, will struggle to recover in the next year due to “stronger offerings from larger players.” Travel site Expedia, which began the downturn in the midst of a full restructuring, now faces liquidity restraints and “even greater long-term uncertainty,” the analysts said. 

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