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Teladoc (TDOC) Up 130% YTD: Will the Rally Continue in 2021?

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Leading teleheath services provider Teladoc Health, Inc. (TDOC - Free Report) has been an investor favorite as its services are selling like hot cakes against the COVID-19 backdrop. The coronavirus pandemic in fact highlighted the critical role of virtual care within the overall health care system. The deadly contagion having confined people to their homes spurred demand for online medical consultation.

The company’s revenues increased 79% to $710.6 million in the first nine months of 2020. It completed 7.6 million visits, accounting for $153.6 million of visit fees for the nine months ending Sep 30, 2020 compared with 2.9 million visits, representing $60.5 million of visit fees in the year-ago period, thereby reflecting an increase of $93.1 million or 154%.

Although the telehealth industry was already in expansion mode , the COVID-19 outbreak gave it a further massive push. People moved to telemedicine and given its ease, flexibility, safety and effectiveness, this shift became the new normal and is here to stay even in the post-COVID era.  Thus companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH - Free Report) , Cigna Corp. (CI - Free Report) and Humana Inc. (HUM - Free Report) are also offering telehealth services to their members.

The telehealth market is set to witness a CAGR of 38% during the 2021-2025 forecast period. The current U.S. healthcare spend of $250 billion could be virtualized. Funding for virtual healthcare is expected to increase 250%.

The company is witnessing rapid growth in new registrations, which is up more than 80% from the third-quarter 2019 level while visit growth from newly registered individuals continues to outpace existing user visit growth.

These new registrations will continue to benefit the company in the future as they create new opportunities to engage with members.
In the coming months, demand for virtual care is sure to accelerate from all industry participants including consumers, payors/employers and healthcare providers.

For now, 76% consumers are interested in accessing virtual care compared with 11% prior to COVID-19. While 33% is ready to leave the current physician for a provider who offers telehealth access and nearly 2/3 want virtual care doctor to partner with the existing in-person doctor.
In case of payors and employers, 80% of large employers believe that virtual care will significantly impact the delivery of healthcare in the future.

Healthcare providers including health systems, independent practices, behavioral health providers and other providers are expecting to see higher utilization of their services by 50-175 times owing to the frequent usage of telehealth services. 64% providers are now more comfortable dispensing telehealth solutions.

To tap this emerging market, the company is seeking to expand fast by making acquisitions. To this end, it acquired InTouch Technologies, the leading provider of enterprise telehealth solutions for hospitals and health system, in July this year and merged with Livongo Health, Inc. a couple of months ago. This acquisition amplifies the company’s key health growth strategies, which includes fortifying its footprint and distribution, innovating clinical services, accelerating consumer adoption and broadening its role in healthcare delivery.

Another very strong catalyst for the company is its international presence, which it started with the acquisition of Best Doctors Advance Medical, MédecinDirect. It recently launched an exciting new partnership with Telefónica, one of the largest telecom providers in Europe and Latin America. The company is also looking for geographic explorations in the Nordic region

To sum up, investors’ confidence in the stock remains instilled by Teladoc’s solid distribution channels, a strong, diversified product menu and widening geographies combined with a robust pipeline of new opportunities. This, in turn, also aids analysts to grow bullish on the company’s long-term prospects.

Year to date, the stock has gained 130.7% compared with its industry’s growth of 32%.

Teladoc carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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