The coronavirus pandemic has been a huge boost to the popularity of telehealth services, and that popularity has been spilling over into the stock market. In September, Amwell (NYSE:AMWL) raised around $742 million in a successful initial public offering (IPO) from investors excited about the company's telehealth platform.
In this recently aired Fool Live video, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and longtime Motley Fool contributor Cory Renauer talk about Amwell's recent IPO and potential competition with Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC). Press play to hear them discuss why Amwell might not be a stock you want in your portfolio.
Corrine Cardina: Absolutely. They're middlemen, but the people tend to like these cards. The cards are free, so it doesn't take anything for their patients to get these discounts. I guess, not really sure what the big opportunity is here. We'll have to keep an eye on it. Let's turn our attention to Amwell. This is actually American Well, I will drop the ticker in the chat. This one also IPO-ed in September. It's got a much brighter story, maybe, than GoodRx at least looking at its stock. Its stock is up more than 60 percent since its IPO and it's a little bit more of a telehealth pure-play. Cory, is this a Teladoc Health competitor?
Cory Renauer: Not exactly. It's a platform that helps healthcare providers meet with patients remotely and that can take so many different forms. Again, not necessarily a competitor directly.
Corrine Cardina: Yeah. Absolutely. There has been some litigation, actually, between Teladoc and Amwell, some questions over patent infringement, so whether they are truly a competitor or not, I think Teladoc, at least it's feeling a little bit threatened. That will be something to watch. Let's talk about digital health, telehealth investment strategy. If someone wanted to hedge their Teladoc share, could they maybe buy Amwell shares to have a more diversified bet on virtual healthcare? Do you think folks should just wait and see what happens with Amwell for now?
Cory Renauer: I think a wait and see approach with Amwell is probably best. It doesn't look like their business scales very well. If you look in their S1, it looks like the company expenses have vastly outpaced revenue in the first six months of the year. Amwell's explanation is that more people have been using its platform, which is true, but if you're a digital health provider, it seems like your business model should scale.
Corrine Cardina: Yeah, absolutely. That's the benefit of having software and being a Cloud-first company. Even Teladoc really isn't profitable yet. They're probably a lot closer than Amwell.
Cory Renauer: Moving in that direction.