Many customers and businesses alike are celebrating the reopening of the U.S. economy. While the timeline varied, the earliest states began implementing stay-at-home orders in mid-March, while others followed suit as late as early April. After two months or more stuck at home, consumers are eager to return to life as usual.
Yet reports of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have some health officials wondering whether another lockdown may be necessary to slow the renewed spread of the virus.
Investors looking for a hedge against the possibility of additional stay-at-home orders should consider businesses that brushed off the pandemic to reach new all-time highs.
Teladoc brings virtual healthcare to the mainstream
The ability to seek advice from a healthcare professional without leaving the comfort of your home is having a moment. Even before fear of contracting the novel coronavirus sent patients looking for another option, telemedicine was already coming into its own. Teladoc (TDOC 8.70%) is the leader in the quickly growing field of telehealth, which allows any patient with a desktop or mobile device to have a video conference with a doctor or nurse.
In 2019, Teladoc's full-year revenue grew 32%, but its patient visits increased at an even faster pace, up 57% compared to 2018. During the first quarter -- with the pandemic in full swing -- Teladoc's numbers accelerated. Revenue increased 41% year over year, while total patients soared 92%.
While some believe the patients flocking to telemedicine are transitory, recent research suggests that new users aren't going anywhere. In a survey of 1,800 patients, 50% of respondents said they had used telehealth during the previous three months, 71% said they are willing to use it again today, and 83% said they plan to continue using telemedicine in the future.
This illustrates why investors should buy Teladoc stock -- even as it hits new all-time highs -- whether new lockdowns are announced or not.
International markets are a massive opportunity for Netflix
Netflix (NFLX -0.13%) is another example of a market-leading company that got an added boost from the stay-at-home orders, but the best may be yet to come for the streaming pioneer.
Netflix ended 2019 with 167 million subscribers, up 20% year over year, while revenue grew an even more impressive 30% during the same period. In the first quarter -- which is historically the slowest for growth -- streaming customers soared to nearly 183 million, up 23% year over year, while revenue grew 28%.
Netflix is guiding for even higher subscriber growth in Q2, forecasting 7.5 million paid memberships. That would put the total at more than 190 million and represent a 26% climb. Some analysts feel that number is too conservative. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Matthew Thornton researched search data, app downloads, and specific regional data that suggest Netflix is likely to add between 9 million and 12 million net new subscribers.
After seeing the wealth of programming available on the streaming video technology platform, consumers will likely be loath to go back to their old viewing habits. That makes a strong case for buying Netflix before any additional stay-at-home orders are issued.
Shopify powers the e-commerce revolution
The most obvious impact of the pandemic was that it accelerated the shift to e-commerce. Consumers began shopping online in lieu of trekking to retail stores. Far too many merchants were ill-prepared for the sudden change in consumer behavior and the groundswell toward online shopping. Luckily for them, Shopify (SHOP 12.67%) was there to answer the call.
Many brick-and-mortar retailers with no online presence were forced to add a digital component to their business on the fly if they wanted to survive. Shopify saw unprecedented demand for its services, which include helping merchants set up and manage e-commerce operations. The company also provides access to other critical business services, including inventory management, payment processing, and discounted shipping and fulfillment.
Shopify was already in an enviable position. Total revenue for 2019 grew 47% year over year, driven by more than 1 million merchants. Fast forward to Q1 and Shopify maintained its impressive growth rate at 47%, even in what has historically been a slower quarter. New stores created on its platform grew 62% between March 13, 2020, and April 24, 2020, compared to the prior six-week period, as merchants scrambled to offer their goods online.
It's unlikely that the majority of retailers will forego these new revenue streams as the momentum from these additional sales carries into the coming quarters. This gives investors a sneak preview into Shopify's future, lockdown or not.
The fine print
It's important to note that additional stay-at-home orders aren't a foregone conclusion. Many consumers and businesses are lobbying for a permanent reopening of the economy. That said, each of these companies was already firing on all cylinders before the pandemic, which suggests that even if additional lockdowns never come, these stocks could continue to win.