It started off as a sleepy Tuesday morning for shareholders of online-education platform K12 (NYSE:LRN). Then, a prominent stock analyst called this company the Teladoc of online education, and shares took off.
K12 stock was up 12% today and has nearly doubled in 2020. Nevertheless, this stock analyst believes it will reach $100 per share before the end of the year, implying around 150% more upside.
Citron Research is a firm with a large following. Perhaps best-known as a short seller, the firm does go long on certain stocks as well. Just last month, shares of Sonos spiked higher after Citron Research suggested it could go up six times in value as an acquisition target.
With K12, Citron Research sees massive changes in public education due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, prominent school districts including Los Angeles and New York City don't plan to fully reopen on schedule, creating an education problem that desperately needs a solution.
Perhaps K12 is the solution schools are looking for. As CEO Nathaniel Davis said in the company's earnings call for the fiscal third quarter of 2020, "When the pandemic first started to impact brick-and-mortar schools, our phones began to ring off the hook." As schools scramble to develop plans for the new school year, perhaps that phone is still ringing.
The coronavirus pushed the adoption of telemedicine, and shares of Teladoc have risen 150% year to date as a result. It's a seven-month stock return any investor would love. Therefore, it's no wonder K12 stock spiked after being compared to Teladoc.
The full report is available for free on Citron Research's website, providing more details on its bullish rationale. And it's worth reading. However, as always when investing in stocks, it's important not to get caught up with a single opinion. Try to see things from various viewpoints. If Citron Research's reasoning is valid, it'll withstand patient scrutiny.
Personally, K12 is a stock I intend to look at more closely going forward. It does appear the coronavirus is pushing the adoption of online education, providing a growing addressable opportunity.