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2 Healthcare Stocks That Are Better Growth Buys Than Tesla

By Prosper Junior Bakiny – Sep 17, 2020 at 5:23AM

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These industry giants are positioned to deliver massive gains in the long run, far beyond that of the electric vehicle pioneer.

There are several tried-and-true approaches to stock investing. Value investors focus on companies that appear undervalued by the market. Dividend investors look for stocks that reward shareholders with sustained dividend increases. Meanwhile, growth investors buy shares of companies that are increasing their revenue or earnings faster than the industry averages. 

One of the most popular growth stocks on the market is Tesla (TSLA 2.51%). The company is a leader in electric vehicles -- an industry that's likely keep growing at a good clip -- and Tesla's prospects have helped spur a strong run for its stock in the past year. Over the trailing 12-months period, Tesla's stock is up by 755.4% while the S&P 500 is up by a comparatively meager 12.5% since September 2019. In fact, Tesla's stock ran up so high that the company recently conducted a stock split.

After such a performance, some argue that years of Tesla's perceived success is already factored into its stock price, making it unattractive at current levels. Fortunately, there are other growth stocks to consider. In particular, here are two excellent picks in the healthcare industry that deserve a place in your portfolio: Teladoc Health (TDOC 0.80%) and Veeva Systems (VEEV 2.05%)

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A leader in telehealth 

The COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing stay-at-home orders accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, creating a perfect storm for Teladoc, one of the leading providers of virtual-care services. In March, the company reported a spike in demand for its services, including from many patients who had never used telemedicine before.

The exposure Teladoc gained as a result of the pandemic is helping it attract new clients. The healthcare company makes money in two ways: First, it charges fees per visit to patients who aren't covered through their insurance plans, and second, Teladoc bills health insurance companies that do offer telemedicine to their customers.

There is no denying the convenience of telehealth services. Doctors can conduct basic consultations, make diagnoses, prescribe drugs, and make referrals for further testing, all without patients leaving the comfort of their homes. Further, people can access these services at any hour of the day and on any day of the week.

Thanks to these perks, the increasing demand for Teladoc's services won't be limited to this current pandemic. According to the research firm Grand View Research, this industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1% through 2027, and it will be worth $155.1 billion by then, up from $41.4 billion in 2019. Teladoc is well-positioned to capture a good share of this market.

Teladoc recently made a move to merge with Livongo Health (LVGO), a company that specializes in remote patient monitoring, meaning it helps patients manage their chronic health conditions, particularly diabetes, through data and technology. Through the use of connected devices that record and analyze a wealth of data thanks to sophisticated algorithms, Livongo Health provides coaching and advice tailored to each of its clients. This company was growing insanely fast before the deal with Teladoc was announced.

A doctor and patient on a tablet

Image source: Getty Images

During its second quarter that ended on Jun. 30, Livongo Health recorded $91.9 million in revenue, representing a 125% year-over-year increase. The company's diabetes segment had 410,000 patients enrolled, up 113% from the prior-year quarter. Given that there are 34.2 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, and 88 million more who have prediabetes, this market is still ripe for growth.

Teladoc's acquisition of Livongo Health -- which was valued at $18.5 billion in a mix of cash and stock -- should close by the end of 2020. In my view, the combined entity will keep growing at a rapid pace. Investors who get on board today will be glad they did down the line. 

The pandemic hasn't derailed Veeva Systems

Veeva Systems provides software tools to ensure efficiency and compliance within the highly regulated life sciences sector. Its Veeva Vault platform allows drugmakers to navigate the clinical trial process, helping them organize and document essential information on a single platform. The company makes the lion's share of its revenue by charging those customers that utilize its software solutions as part of their day-to-day operations.

Veeva Systems' financial results speak for themselves. During the second quarter of its fiscal year 2021, which ended on July 20, Veeva Systems reported revenue of $353.7 million, a 33% year-over-year increase. The company's subscription-services revenue -- which accounted for roughly 80% of its total revenue -- jumped by 30% from the year-ago period to $283.5 million.

Also, the company's net income grew by 18% year over year to $93.6 million. Note that Veeva Systems delivered these results despite the pandemic and its impact on clinical trials worldwide. Many drugmakers had to halt their studies to protect all those involved amid the rapid spread of COVID-19. Despite this headwind, Veeva Systems is confident in its long-term prospects.

In October 2019, the company announced its intention to reach $3 billion in annual revenue by 2025, which would represent a significant increase from the $1.1 billion in revenue it recorded last year. The company still expects to reach that goal, even after having to contend with the impact of the outbreak. During its first-quarter earnings conference call, Veeva Systems' CEO, Peter Gassner, said:

This crisis has caused significant disruption, but it has also promoted innovation throughout the industry and of Veeva, which over time will be beneficial for life sciences and for Veeva. I am more confident than ever in our long-term opportunity and our ability to achieve our $3 billion revenue target in 2025.

One of the ways in which the company can achieve this goal is by acquiring more customers. Veeva Systems boasts a tremendous retention rate for its subscription-services segment, which, during its fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020, was 121%, 122%, and 121%, respectively. In other words, the company is in the habit of expanding its customer base, and it will likely continue to do so moving forward. What's more, Veeva Systems keeps launching new products to better serve the needs of its clients.

For instance, in May, the company introduced MyVeeva for clinical studies, which will allow patients and doctors to collaborate remotely more efficiently through the clinical trial process. MyVeeva will debut in the fourth quarter. Thanks to its innovations and its ability to attract new clients, I expect Veeva Systems to continue beating the market for many years to come. Investors looking for growth companies to invest in can't go wrong with this top healthcare stock

Prosper Junior Bakiny has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Livongo Health Inc, Teladoc Health, Tesla, and Veeva Systems. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$282.94 (2.51%) $6.93
Veeva Systems Inc. Stock Quote
Veeva Systems Inc.
$161.23 (2.05%) $3.24
Teladoc Health, Inc. Stock Quote
Teladoc Health, Inc.
$26.63 (0.80%) $0.21
Livongo Health, Inc. Stock Quote
Livongo Health, Inc.

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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