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This Fast-Growing Healthcare Stock Will Win Even if the Economy Goes Bad

By Taylor Carmichael – Nov 2, 2021 at 2:00PM

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The Joint is an exciting growth stock. But it's also a great defensive stock if the economy heads south.

Healthcare is a great defensive stock in a bad economy. People will always spend money on their health, regardless of how bad a recession is. And if you have a high-flying healthcare stock, you might just have the best of both worlds. 

In this episode of "The 5," Taylor Carmichael talks about the chain of chiropractor clinics known as The Joint Corp. (JYNT -0.38%). This segment was recorded live on Oct. 11.

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Jason Hall Taylor, so yes, you talked about earlier if you see a market dip maybe those protected, high-quality, growing healthcare businesses are interesting and you have one that you own a little bit of that you're going to share with us here.

Taylor Carmichael: This is a small-cap company, it's called The Joint. They are creating a chain of chiropractor places that are in strip centers, shopping centers.

Hall: I think most people were just immediately assuming that it was a cannabis stock, right?

Carmichael: Right. Yeah [laughs] I love healthcare because we're having this transformational change in healthcare so it's a great growth opportunity, but it's also a wonderful place to play defense when the economy goes bad. In that regard, I avoid the unprofitable biotechs if I'm buying in a bad market, but I would buy something like The Joint, so let me describe what they do.

They're taking the franchising idea from retail and they are bringing it into the healthcare market. And it's been just amazing success. This company has 60% revenue growth, 24% profit margins. The chiropractor is basically, there's not a lot of expense to his business. It's the doctor, he adjusts your back, he doesn't need a lot of expensive equipment and he doesn't need a lot of expensive support staff. Chiropractors are in places with a lot of other doctors and they are the most profitable section of a lot of these places. What The Joint is doing is saying, "Hey, you ought to go independent, join us, and you can cut out all that expensive stuff and just take pure profit."

In the last quarter, they sold 63 franchise licenses, which is up dramatically. They've got a huge waitlist. It's a couple of 100 of chiropractors who want to franchise, who want to open up a Joint. They have a huge runway of growth going forward. It's about a $18 billion market opportunity. Chiropractors love this business. You go in there, you make no reservations. You walk in, and the doctor adjusts your back, you walk out. The whole thing takes half an hour. It's about a $30 charge. It's cheaper than your copay. There's no insurance, so this is wonderful under the radar. If you think health insurance is a mess or if you think the health industry could stand for some different way of doing things, The Joint is very exciting in that regard, so I just love this. It's a huge growth business, a hugely profitable business and they're rule-breaking in how they are providing healthcare, just bringing franchising into healthcare is an amazing idea and a very profitable idea for this company. It's a little expensive. The stock has quadrupled over the last year. Their P/S ratio is 20, their PE ratio is 80. That's very high for your retailing operation, but for a healthcare stock with its margins, that's not bad at all, really. I'm buying at this price, if it gets cheaper, I'll buy more. I'm just really excited about this little company.

Taylor Carmichael owns shares of The Joint. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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