While the recent coronavirus has hit Chinese stocks rather hard -- and stocks all over the world, for that matter -- there are actually some companies that may benefit from the outbreak. One such company appears to be Ping An Healthcare and Technology Limited (SEHK:1833), also known as Ping An Good Doctor. The stock has been on fire recently, up a whopping 31.4% year to date in spite of the coronavirus.
So, what has investors so excited about Ping An Good Doctor? Why has coronavirus boosted shares, and where can this high-flying stock go from here?
COVID-19 brings huge demand for online medical services
Good Doctor is a leading Chinese medical technology company that provides online medical services, consumer healthcare services, and runs an online health mall for drugs, medical devices, and other nutrition products.
The most exciting part of the business is the company's online health services, in which patients can get in touch with a professional doctor over the internet. That segment wasn't only the highest-growth and highest-margin part of Good Doctor's business last year (except for its smaller but higher-margin advertising segment), but online services have also skyrocketed during the coronavirus outbreak more recently.
In a recent press release, management put out some eye-popping statistics about the use of its services during the outbreak. New registrants grew over 10 times the normal number, daily visits surged by nine times, and overall platform visits hit 1.1 billion.
On top of a strong 2019
The recent coronavirus-fueled surge comes on top of a pretty impressive 2019. Last year, the number of Good Doctor users rose by 18.9% to 315 million. Average daily consultations surged 36.3% to 729,000 per day. Overall revenue also went up an even higher 51.8%.
But that 51.8% still understates the growth of Good Doctor's high-profit online services segment, which increased 109% in 2019, with margin expansion. Online services have traditionally been only a small part of Good Doctor's revenue, but went from 12.3% of revenue in 2018 to 16.9% in 2019. With online services sporting that kind of momentum, the segment could sustain the overall company's growth for some time.
Good Doctor also greatly improved its services last year, expanding its online-to-offline ecosystem, and making the company's tech capabilities more entrenched in China's healthcare system. In 2019, the company expanded its partnerships to 3,000 hospitals, 100 tertiary hospitals, and 90,000 drugstores.
An expensive stock, but the growth is there
For the full-year 2019, Ping An Good Doctor had revenue of RMB 5.06 billion, with a net loss of (RMB 747 million). Though no one likes to see net losses, its net loss did decrease by 18.2% over the previous year as the business scaled.
The company currently has a market cap of HK$80.3 billion, which translates to about RMB72.6 billion, or a price-to-sales ratio of about 14. That's not particularly cheap, but not crazy expensive for a company that's growing revenue that fast.
And with a slew of new customers thanks to the coronavirus, Chinese consumers may accelerate their adoption of telemedicine as a routine way of life going forward. Thus, the catalyst of the coronavirus, on top of the strong 2019 performance, makes Ping An Healthcare and Technology Limited not only an intriguing Chinese stock but an intriguing growth stock as well. Note that the company only trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, so consult with your online broker to see if trading in this stock is available on your platform.