This week, shares of Teladoc Health (TDOC 6.72%) slid to a new 52-week low of less than $134 per share. This comes on the heels of the company's first-quarter earnings report, which came out on April 28. Although the performance it reflected wasn't horrible, investors may have been expecting more from the business, which had an incredible year in 2020 with demand for telehealth services soaring. The bar was set high, and that is going to make 2021 all the more challenging for Teladoc to impress investors.
But now that chronic-care company Livongo is part of its business, Teladoc will still have plenty of growth opportunities. With the healthcare stock trading at its lowest price in more than a year, should investors consider buying shares of Teladoc or is there still more pain to come?
The first quarter was better than the company expected
In its most recent quarter, Teladoc's sales numbers continued to be impressive, with revenue of $454 million for the period ending March 31 rising 151% year over year. That was near the top end of the guidance the company issued in the fourth quarter, when it projected that first-quarter sales would be between $445 million and $455 million. And that wasn't the only projection that Teladoc beat. It reported 3.2 million visits; in its forecast, it estimated a maximum of 3.1 million.
This is an encouraging sign: Even with light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic, patients are still opting for virtual care. For investors, it's also important to note that the company isn't overly aggressive or optimistic with its guidance, which could make it difficult to meet expectations and deliver a solid earnings report. The recent numbers did get help from the addition of Livongo; the two companies officially merged in October 2020.
But with the deal just recently done, the opportunities are still significant for even more growth. There was only a 25% overlap in customers when these two high-growth companies announced their deal a year ago. As Teladoc further incorporates Livongo into its business and cross-sells its services to new customers, there is the potential for the business to look even stronger down the road.
For the second quarter, Teladoc projects sales will break the $500 million mark, potentially going as high as $505 million. Visits could also top a new high of 3.4 million.
The stock is trading at a smaller premium
For 2021, Teladoc projects that its revenue could top more than $2 billion. With a market cap of $22 billion, that would put the stock at a price-to-sales multiple of 11. That's significantly lower than where investors have been valuing the company for much of the past year.
Rival American Well trades at a slightly smaller multiple of 10 times revenue. And while I wouldn't call Teladoc a bargain given that the average holding in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund trades at just 2 times its sales, it could still be an attractive growth investment given the potential it has now with chronic-care provider Livongo in the mix.
Should you buy Teladoc at its reduced price?
Teladoc is an intriguing investment that possesses loads of potential. ResearchAndMarkets projects that the global telehealth industry will be worth nearly $192 billion in 2025 -- roughly 5 times what it was worth in 2020. And while there is looming competition from Amazon and other companies looking to tap into the industry's attractive growth opportunities, Teladoc -- at least for now -- has become one of the top stocks in the sector. Its customer base is strong, and its U.S. paid member count stands at more than 51 million as of March 31 (up 20% year over year), showing that more people are still signing up for the company's services.
And with new avenues for growth, including chronic care and the company's recently launched mental health service called myStrength Complete, Teladoc is becoming more of a one-stop shop for virtual care. And that's why I'm optimistic that the company will continue delivering strong growth for a long time, as its services will attract a wider range of patients. Buying today, with the stock at a low, could be a great opportunity for investors who may have thought they missed the boat on Teladoc.