When a downturn hits, even industry leaders feel the pressure. That's been the case for two companies in particular: telehealth specialist Teladoc Health (TDOC 4.58%) and animal health company Zoetis (ZTS 1.39%). These corporations are among the most prominent players in their respective markets, but that hasn't stopped investors from selling off their shares this year.
Thankfully, both companies have plenty of opportunities that could pay off for patient investors. Let's consider why Zoetis and Teladoc are worth buying while they are still hovering near their 52-week lows.
Teladoc stock imploded this year as net losses piled up, mainly due to non-cash goodwill impairment charges related to its acquisition of Livongo Health. The company overpaid for this acquisition, and it is now suffering the consequences.
Elsewhere, the company's day-to-day operations have also encountered some headwinds. For instance, Teladoc's mental health service BetterHelp isn't growing as fast as the company had hoped. Teladoc is facing off against smaller competitors in the market for mental health services, leading to a lower return on its marketing investment.
With that said, there are some bright spots for the company. It continues to attract new paying users to its ecosystem. Teladoc ended the second quarter with 56.6 million U.S. paid members, which came in 9% higher than the prior-year quarter. The company's corporate customers include about half of the Fortune 500.
Furthermore, there are good reasons to think it will continue gaining members. There is still strong demand for the company's services. According to management, Teladoc had "twice as many multimillion-dollar deals in the pipeline" starting the third quarter than it did the prior year. As Teladoc enrolls new customers, its top line should grow. But the healthcare company can also increase revenue by enrolling its users into more services beyond primary care.
Teladoc's BetterHelp can help it do just that. Many who suffer from mental health problems never seek care, creating an unmet need in this patient population. That's especially the case considering that the prevalence of mental health issues increased drastically during the pandemic. Teladoc might not be the only company looking to make progress in this area, but it has rolled out marketing efforts that are yielding results.
In the second quarter, the company's revenue from BetterHelp jumped by 40% year over year compared to its total revenue, which increased by 18% to $592.4 million. Teladoc's ChronicCare could also help it expand its average revenue per user over the long run, especially considering the prevalence of chronic illnesses such as diabetes is growing.
Teladoc seeks to cover the entire range of telemedicine offerings, including primary care, mental health, chronic care, and more. Given that this industry is still in growth mode, and Teladoc has already carved out a solid leadership position, the company could recover from this year's poor performance in the market and reward patient investors down the road.
Zoetis develops and markets medical products for livestock and companion animals, including vaccines, medicines, and more. The company has faced some headwinds related to the pandemic and economic problems, such as supply chain issues, particularly within its livestock business.
Still, Zoetis continues to post respectable top- and bottom-line increases. During the second quarter, the healthcare company reported revenue of $2.1 billion, an increase of 5% year over year. By the standards of the industry, that's a decent performance. On the bottom line, Zoetis recorded net earnings per share of $1.12, 5% higher than the year-ago period.
One of Zoetis' strengths lies in its geographic and product diversity. The company markets about 300 product lines across more than 100 countries. Diversification has both pros and cons. One of the perks is that it allows companies some flexibility when encountering headwinds within one specific business unit. That's what has happened to Zoetis.
Even as some parts of its business have suffered due to the pandemic and economic problems, the company's pet care unit has been less affected. As CEO Kristin Peck said, "Pet care remains a very positive and robust market, showing little impact from broader consumer concerns with inflation for the global economy."
Another reason Zoetis remains successful is its ability to develop new products and receive label expansions for existing ones. In January, it earned marketing authorization from regulators in Europe for Apoquel, a tablet to treat clinical signs of atopic dermatitis in dogs. The same month, the company earned label expansions for Simparica Trio, a product that helps prevent heartworm infections in dogs.
In August, Zoetis earned another label expansion for a trio of beef-cattle implant products. One is Synovex Choice, a subcutaneous implant that helps promote weight gain. The company does not publicly disclose the details of its pipeline, other than to reassure investors that it has promising products. The evidence over the past few years suggests that Zoetis is living up to its word.
In the long run, the company should continue to benefit from the growth of spending on pets and livestock. Grand View Research estimates that the animal health market will expand at a compound annual rate of 10% through 2030. Zoetis can turn its performance around as it continues to lead this growing market.