Business is booming for these 14 companies during the coronavirus pandemic

By Jordan Valinsky | CNN Business

The coronavirus pandemic has been, to say the least, grim for business. Widespread layoffs and furloughs have prompted about 21% of the US labor force[1] to file for unemployment benefits since mid-March, and economists say the United States is likely already in a recession. And even as states begin to reopen, many of the jobs that have been lost may never come back[2].

But during this upheaval, some companies been thriving because of dramatic shifts in consumer behavior.

Restaurants, bars, offices and gyms are largely empty as millions of Americans stay home to halt the spread of the coronavirus. That’s created new opportunities for several companies[3].

Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Nintendo

Popular video games like first-person shooters, football and cute animals have been a boon for the top gaming companies.

Activision Blizzard said “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” which came out in September, has sold more copies[4] than any other “Call of Duty” title at this point after its release. Sales were $1.52 billion in the first quarter, up 21% compared with last year’s $1.26 billion.

For Electronic Arts, fourth-quarter revenue grew 12% compared with last year. It was buoyed by FIFA, Madden NFL, The Sims 4. Like Activision, it also benefited from people staying at home and looking for a distraction.

Nintendo said Thursday its annual profit surged 41%, its highest in nine years. And profit in the first three months of 2020 more than tripled compared with the previous quarter[5].

Sales this spring were driven by the breakout success of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” a game set on an island utopia. The company sold more than 13 million units of the game in its first six weeks. The Nintendo Switch console also continues to be hard to find, with the company selling more than 21 million units during the last fiscal year.

Clorox Company and Reckitt Benckiser

People can’t stop sanitizing, bleaching and cleaning every nook and cranny of their dwellings. That’s benefiting Clorox and Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of the world’s top cleaning products.

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