As a result of social-distancing measures authorities have been forced to adopt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the global economy has slowed down significantly. Many companies will, unfortunately, end up going out of business. Many of those that remain will experience a decrease in sales and profits in the upcoming quarters.
That said, some companies are still thriving -- and will likely record strong financial performances -- despite the current situation. With that in mind, here are two companies I believe have a chance to wow investors when they release their first-quarter earnings reports: Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) and Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY).
The leading telehealth company sees a jump in demand
Despite the importance of social distancing, patients are still in need of medical attention. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, it is essential to reserve hospital beds for those who have contracted the novel coronavirus. Fortunately, people can receive some medical attention from the comfort of their homes by way of telehealth, and Teladoc is the leading telehealth provider. The company recently announced that demand for its services has soared as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Teladoc expects that trend to continue.
Teladoc makes money in two major ways. First, the company charges recurring subscription fees to insurers who cover their members' telehealth services. Second, Teladoc charges fees per visit for patients who don't have insurance coverage for telehealth services. A significant increase in patient visit volume should boost the company's top line.
The midpoint of Teladoc's guidance for the first quarter comes out to a total revenue of $170.5 million, which would represent a 32.6% year-over-year increase. The company will likely manage to meet -- and probably even exceed -- its already stellar projected revenue for the first quarter.
At Bristol Myers Squibb, the acquisition of Celgene will take full effect
Bristol Myers Squibb acquired Celgene last year in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $74 billion. This acquisition did encounter a few hiccups, however. For instance, some of Bristol Myers Squibb's shareholders came out in opposition to the deal. These included Wellington Management -- one of Bristol Myers Squibb's largest institutional shareholders -- which argued that the acquisition of Celgene put added risk on Bristol Myers Squibb shareholders.
Despite this obstacle -- and others -- Bristol Myers Squibb closed its acquisition of Celgene on Nov. 20. Bristol Myers Squibb can now fully profit from Celgene's drugs, and some of these products will undoubtedly have a significant material effect on the company's top line. In particular, there is Revlimid, which is used to treat multiple myeloma. From the time of the closing of Bristol Myers Squibb's acquisition of Celgene to the end of the fourth quarter, Revlimid racked up $1.3 billion in sales, which represented 16.3% of Bristol Myers Squibb's total revenue.
With a full quarter behind it, Revlimid should make an even more significant dent on Bristol Myers Squibb's top line. Note that sales of Revlimid during the third quarter of 2019 were $2.8 billion. If Revlimid generates a similar revenue in the first quarter, it will likely be Bristol Myers Squibb's best-selling drug.
Another product that should have a positive effect on Bristol Myers Squibb's revenue in the first quarter is Pomalyst, which also treats multiple myeloma. Pomalyst generated $322 million in revenue for Bristol Myers Squibb in the fourth quarter, and this medicine had recorded $664 million in revenue in the third quarter.
Thanks to these two products and others that Bristol Myers Squibb acquired in the Celgene transaction, the company's financial results in the first quarter should be strong.
Are they buys?
As several health insurance providers have chosen to waive the cost of telehealth services for their customers as a result of the ongoing outbreak, the number of people being introduced to and using telehealth should increase, which could raise the public profile of Teladoc and its peers in this industry. Teladoc, which was already well-positioned to profit from the growth of the telehealth industry, could benefit massively from this.
Meanwhile, Bristol Myers Squibb boasts several blockbuster drugs, and the company's revenue and earnings should continue growing for the foreseeable future. For those reasons, both Teladoc and Bristol Myers Squibb are excellent healthcare stocks that investors should strongly consider scooping up right now.