Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) was quite the outlier stock on Thursday, rising sharply in price in the face of a severe downturn in the broader equities market. The company's excellent fourth-quarter results were the direct reason, and it was rewarded with a clutch of price target raises from analysts.
Only a few hours after the results were released, a number of prognosticators lifted their targets, some quite dramatically for the telemedical-consultation specialist. One was Piper Sandler, whose analyst Sean Wieland increased his by 63% to $142 per share. In his update on the stock, Wieland wrote that Teladoc is experiencing a happy combination of falling visit acquisition costs and rising patient take-up.
Cowen, with its 50% hike, put a higher price tag on the shares of $150 apiece. SunTrust was more cautious, increasing its target, from $92 to $110. Analyst Alexander Draper at SunTrust, however, kept its hold recommendation on the shares intact. That contrasts with both Piper Sandler and Cowen; both companies still believe Teladoc is the equivalent of a buy.
Teladoc's Q4 and full 2019 results were extremely encouraging. In the quarter, the company boosted its revenue by 27% on a year-over-year basis to almost $157 million, on the back of a 44% increase in total patient visits. The company's net loss narrowed to $19 million for the quarter, from a deficit of nearly $25 million a year earlier. Both headline numbers outperformed analysts' consensus estimates.
Teladoc was a rare bright light within Thursday's awful stock market action: The healthcare company rose by almost 16%, while the S&P 500 slid by 4.4%, its worst single-day showing since 2011.