What happened

Shares of telehealth specialist Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) soared on Wednesday, rising 9.2%. This gain came even as the market fell. Capturing bearishness in the overall market on Wednesday, the S&P 500 declined by 2.2%.

The growth stock's gain was fueled by the release of strong first quarter preliminary results after market close on Tuesday. 

A lady visiting with a doctor virtually over her laptop

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

First quarter revenue is expected to be between $180 million and $181 million, up from $129 million in the year-ago quarter. This is far ahead of the $169 million to $172 million the company had guided for. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the period will be around $10 million to $11 million, management said. This is at the high end of management's guidance for the metric.

"As a result of the global outbreak of COVID-19, Teladoc Health has experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for its services," management said in the press release. More specifically, Teladoc noted that it is often providing more than 20,000 virtual medical visits per day -- more than double the rate of visits in the first week of March.

Now what

The company's ability to serve customers at a much higher rate during this period highlights how agile and scalable Teladoc's solution is.

"Virtual care is playing a central role during this crisis, when the traditional healthcare system is under intense pressure, and I am confident that role will only continue to expand," said Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic in the business update on Wednesday.