Over the past year, tremendous strides have been made in the coronavirus vaccine race. At the same time, investors have rushed in droves to seize upon the upside potential of coronavirus vaccine stocks. Many of these companies have seen shares double, triple, or even quadruple.
Don't get me wrong -- quite a number of these high-flying coronavirus vaccine stocks were fundamentally great buys before the pandemic, and have only proved to be increasingly compelling investments in the aftermath of the market crash. But if you're not particularly enthused about the coronavirus vaccine stock craze, or you simply want to explore other recession-resilient buys, you've come to the right place.
Let's take a look at two rock-solid companies -- a fast-growing e-commerce stock and a popular healthcare stock -- that have built upon a superior track record of growth during the pandemic and are ideally poised to keep achieving above-average performance over the long haul.
MercadoLibre (MELI -0.81%) is the No. 1 e-commerce platform in Latin America and is known for producing an exceptional balance sheet quarter after quarter. The company also has its hands in another highly lucrative space: the world of digital payments. Between its e-commerce and digital payments ecosystems, MercadoLibre is expanding its global footprint and its top line at lightning-fast pace.
In 2020, MercadoLibre grew its net revenue 73% while gross profits surged 55%. Total payment volume and gross merchandise volume spiked by respective rates of 75% and 50% during the full year. And in the final quarter of 2020 alone, these four metrics increased 149%, 59%, 134%, and 110% from the year-ago period.
MercadoLibre is on solid footing in terms of liquidity and debt. The company boasted total assets of $6.5 billion at the close of the full-year 2020, $1.9 billion of which represented cash and cash equivalents. By contrast, management reported $3.6 billion in total current liabilities, which are obligations due within the next year.
One of the reasons MercadoLibre is such a compelling long-term investment is the fact that its business model centers around two of today's fastest-growing sectors: e-commerce and digital payments. In fact, Grand View Research estimates that the global digital payments market will record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 19% between now and 2028, while the global e-commerce market is expected to mark a 15% CAGR between 2020 and 2027. These broader industry gains can also translate into continued above-average balance sheet and share price performance for MercadoLibre (and its investors) for many years to come.
The company's continued successes throughout the pandemic have already caught the eye of swarms of new investors. Shares of MercadoLibre have soared 175% over the past 12 months alone, and its market cap has swelled to a cool $78 billion. According to the latest analyst price targets, shares of MercadoLibre could surge as high as $2,500 this year, which would represent about a 60% increase from where the stock is trading now. Now looks like an excellent time to scoop up shares of the growth stock before its price surges even higher.
Teladoc Health (TDOC 0.05%) quickly soared to popularity with the stay-at-home stock crowd last year, and shares of the company hit record highs. Now that the stock is trading closer to pre-pandemic levels, there's never been a better time to snag shares of this high-quality stock on sale.
It's understandable that there's been a certain level of hesitancy among some investors regarding Teladoc's post-pandemic prospects, but I would point to the years of consistent balance sheet growth the company reported before COVID-19 entered the picture. In 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, the company reported respective year-over-year revenue increases of 59%, 89%, 78%, and 32%. 2020 was clearly a great year for the company. Its revenue surged 98% and its total visits spiked by 156%.
It's important to note that an overall increase in the general public leveraging of telehealth solutions for a variety of medical needs was well under way before extended shutdowns forced people to stay indoors for extended periods and limited non-essential activity.
To illustrate this point: InTouch Health (which Teladoc acquired in 2020) reported in 2019 that the global telehealth market would achieve a $40 billion valuation that year after realizing a 25% CAGR in the prior five-year period. In short, the global telehealth industry -- a sphere in which Teladoc remains the clear market leader -- was already achieving remarkable growth before the pandemic.
And early data already suggests healthcare consumers will continue to tap into the flexible options telehealth affords in a post-pandemic society. In a study conducted by The Harris Poll last spring, roughly 80% of respondents who had leveraged telehealth solutions stated they were "likely" to leverage them again in a post-pandemic world; 40% of respondents said they were "very likely" to leverage telehealth options post-pandemic.
The global telehealth market is primed for continued growth in the coming years, and Teladoc is at the top of the list to benefit from these industry trends. If you're an investor who's in it for the long haul, Teladoc can easily provide value, growth, and stability to your portfolio over the next decade or longer.