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Why Investors Should Feel Good About Teladoc in This 5-Stock Sampler

By Motley Fool Staff - Nov 23, 2018 at 11:37AM

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The remote medical care provider is creating something new, brilliant, and (once you think of it) obviously useful.

The stock market is heading lower -- indeed, all the gains the major indexes made in 2018 have evaporated. So this might not feel like an opportune moment to advocate for stock purchases. Even so, about every 10 weeks, Rule Breaker Investing podcast host and Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner picks a set of five stocks to recommend, and shares them with anyone who wants to listen. Well, it's that time again, and he has more than enough companies to choose from. To narrow his options, he set four rules for this sampler:

  1. The stock had to have been a big-time winner for the Rule Breaker portfolio over the long term.
  2. It had to have hit a new high in September.
  3. It had to have fallen at least 20% from that high in the weeks since.
  4. The company name had to start with the letter T.

One stock that fit that bill was distance healthcare company Teladoc Health ( TDOC -4.32% ). It's a recent pick for Rule Breakers, and its massive gains over the year it has been in the portfolio are still mostly intact, even after a recent sharp drop. In this segment, Gardner explains why he likes this business model, and why he'd rebuy the stock now.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Nov. 14, 2018.

David Gardner: Stock No. 3, continuing down the alphabetical list. Stock No. 3 is Teladoc, ticker TDOC. This is a company, a Rule Breaker, that made a high, like Take-Two Interactive, on the final day of September. Teladoc touched $86 that day. Here we are less than a month and a half later, it's gone from $86 to $59. It's down 31%. And yet, the company is the same company, for the most part, that it was a month and a half ago. The market has turned down, but not this company's fortunes.

Why is this one of our bigger winners? It's a more recent pick for us in Motley Fool Rule Breakers. In fact, I picked it one year ago this month for the first time, November 2017. It's up 84% over the last 12 months, versus the market up 9%. That's why it's one of our big-time winners. And yet, it's still in its first year as a Rule Breaker stock. Really happy to see that it's still up 84%, despite having dropped 31% in just the last six weeks. You can see, it was already much higher. And indeed, I think, in time, it will be much higher again, which is why I'm including it on this five-stock sampler.

What are two things that I like about Teladoc? First of all, if you get to know the business -- feel free to click around Motley Fool Rule Breakers, our service, if you're a member. Or, you can google Teladoc, and look over their services. Basically, it's what it sounds like. This is a business where you can use a telephone to contact a care professional and get help. It turns out, you don't always have to go to your doctor's office, or even the MinuteClinic at the CVS. Sometimes, those aren't adequate for the kind of conversation that you'd like to have. Well, increasingly, Teladoc is getting its service in HR and benefits packages for good companies nationwide. You might be working at a company where you have Teladoc as a benefit. You could dial up a phone number and have a conversation about your health with somebody who is knowing and professional.

This is, to me, an obvious business. This is a good example of something that could have always existed. Why not? Luggage wheels. Wheels on luggage. That really could have always been with us, all 20th century long, but for some strange reason, it took a long time to show up. In this case, I think it's a little harder to get regulatory clearance and really scale a business like Teladoc. It probably had to wait until more recently with the internet showing up and improving our lives. I think that's a great reason for Teladoc's timing, but the company has clearly hit the ground running, both as a public company, but for years before that as a start-up. To me, it's one of those great stocks, don't-make-you-think stocks. That's an essay I once wrote. You can read it. I think you can google "great stocks don't make you think David Gardner" and you can read my short essay. Often, in my experience, if you step away from the stock market and the near-term Sturm und Drang of "the market's up" and "the market's down" and this kind of coverage of the markets, you just think, "The time that I'm living in, what are the really obvious, big things that matter?" Then you step away and say, "I'm just going to buy those stocks." Great stocks shouldn't make you think.

Great stocks shouldn't make you think should make you think too hard. I think often, great elevator pitches, a solid 60-second pitch, should be all takes to tell you about Amazon or Netflix back in the day. To me, Teladoc is one of those "great stocks don't make you think" stocks. That's one thing I like about it.

The second thing I like about Teladoc is true of all these -- how about the decline? It's down from $86 to $59 in the matter of just some weeks. We're never looking backward at The Motley Fool or on this podcast. We're looking ahead. And I see sunshine in the future for this company and for you as a potential investor. That's the reason I'm making Teladoc stock No. 3.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Teladoc Health, Inc. Stock Quote
Teladoc Health, Inc.
$92.43 (-4.32%) $-4.17

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