We're not getting any closer to cracking the COVID-19 code, and that's going to understandably make you nervous as an investor but even more so as a human being. This is a scary pandemic. However, it's undeniable that some companies are flourishing in the new normal.
Livongo Health (LVGO), Peloton (PTON -4.18%), and Teladoc (TDOC -3.46%) are three of 2020's hottest stocks, soaring through the outbreak with year-to-date gains of 195%, 96%, and 135%, respectively, as of Wednesday's close. It's a fair bet that they will continue to thrive as the coronavirus crisis plays out.
There are 34.2 million people with diabetes in the U.S. -- that's more than 10% of the country -- and another third of the population have prediabetes.
We know that folks with diabetes can help their outcomes through exercise and embracing healthier lifestyles, but having someone perpetually keeping tabs on the situation and proactively nudging you in the right direction wasn't feasible until Livongo Health pioneered what it calls advanced health signals. Using connected glucose meters, data scientists and machine learning provide active coaching with every pin prick. Instead of relying on in-office medical guidance, which could be months away, Livongo knows when to step up and nudge a member in the right direction when blood sugar levels start to climb.
Livongo's platform works. The insurance plans and self-insured companies offering Livongo are seeing an average annual savings of $1,908 in reduced medical costs per member, and glucose levels are dramatically improving within just a couple of months on the platform. Not surprisingly, Livongo's user base doubled to 328,000 members in the first quarter. Now the company is trying to catch lightning in a bottle again by using applied health signals to control other chronic conditions such as hypertension and depression, and in weight management.
Shares of Peloton hit another all-time high on Wednesday, and it's easy to see why the market's breaking a sweat for the company behind the high-end at-home workouts. Crowded spinning classes and sweaty gyms aren't safe these days, and Peloton allows folks with deep pockets to spend four figures on a stationary bike or treadmill that is connected wirelessly to interactive workouts that stream on attached monitors.
Peloton's connected-fitness subscriber count has soared 94% to 886,100 over the past year. Churn is at a four-year low, and growth has accelerated in the new normal. Peloton's revenue rose a hearty 66% in the first quarter, but its guidance for the quarter that ends next week calls for a 128% top-line surge at the midpoint.
It's not just Livongo raising the bar when it comes to healthcare. Teladoc is championing telemedicine, using its growing network of medical professionals that can provide health consultations through videoconferencing. There are natural limitations to online consultations, but with gadgetry tech evolving and Teladoc's breadth of categories expanding, it's easy to see why folks are excited about the ability to seamlessly visit a health professional without having to deal with crowded waiting rooms and carving out hours of time for a process that ultimately just takes minutes.
Following in the footsteps of Livongo and Peloton, Teladoc is seeing its fan base widen dramatically these days. The 8 million to 9 million telehealth visits that Teladoc expects to complete this year is roughly double the 4.1 million sessions it completed in 2019.
Livongo, Peloton, and Teladoc are exploding in popularity through the COVID-19 crisis. They are among the market's best growth stocks right now, proving that they are immune to the pandemic and thus may merit joining your portfolio.