It's all anecdotal until now. That's how I felt until I read the Microsoft (MSFT) Update #2 on Azure cloud services this weekend: "We have seen a 775% increase of our cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders."
There's more: "We have seen a very significant spike in Teams usage and now have 44 million daily users. Those users generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes on Teams daily in a single week."
I can't believe these numbers. They are astounding. Do you know how much more equipment it takes to be able to meet this demand? Just think of what the food chain is here. First, you need to have a total step function in data center building, something that we thought might be moribund just a few weeks ago. We had a hint that things had heated up when Micron (MU) mentioned stronger data center orders in its conference call and then when pressed said that it's been very big here. When we think data center we need to think Nvidia (NVDA) , which has been so strong of late, and Advanced Micro (AMD) , which has been good and is also good on the notebook side, because you need a new notebook to work things at home. Intel (INTC) falls into place, here, too.
We all know that Zoom's (ZM) got real traffic and its partner Logitech's done well. But now I am beginning to wonder if Cisco's (CSCO) Webex division, which has been going great guns, might make up for what I am betting is a shortfall on much of their other business because of a stoppage in enterprise spending.
When I used to have a radio show, we fell in love with Citrix (CTXS) for real time stay in touch. It's been a monster winner as has Slack (WORK) , the competitor to Microsoft's Teams product.
Now I know that many companies are anxious to get back to work in traditional fashion. And I do believe that science, not the bending of the curve, will rescue us from this curious abyss. But when I look at the companies we have had on since the high of February 19th, they are almost predominantly stay at home stocks. There's Cloudflare (NET) , on tonight, up 22% as it creates video streaming. There's Everbridge (EVBG) , which can deliver information to a large group of people simultaneously, up 4.5%, Domino's (DPZ) up 14%, an obvious winner, and Teladoc (TDOC) which has been unstoppable, up 40%.
But let's not bury the lead. Microsoft is the company that has been the biggest beneficiary of the moment. Its Azure has been gaining adherents as brick and mortar retailers are tired of subsidizing Amazon (AMZN) . Its Windows product comes on every notebook, a spur out of nowhere, and its cybersecurity programs are getting better and better. I do periodically hear that Slack rivals Teams but Teams is embedded.
Now the one thing you need to worry about with Microsoft, as you have to do with all of the techies, is the GDP. I think that the gross domestic product of the country and the world will be crushed, and therefore you have a risk that the minutes go down simply because of layoffs and the 44 million daily users gets cut hard as we pare back our workforce.
It's a legitimate worry. But I think the adoption overrides the GDP concerns. That's why, while I like all of these companies, but I never like to out think things: Microsoft's the real winner here.
(Microsoft, Nvidia and Amazon are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.)