When Teladoc Health (TDOC -1.80%) fell to below $24 a share in October, I couldn't resist the opportunity to average down and buy more shares of the business. Despite all the bearishness surrounding the stock given its slowing growth and the massive impairment charges it has been incurring in recent quarters, this still looks like an investment with tremendous long-term potential.
Teladoc is a top name in telehealth, and the company's recent earnings numbers confirmed that the business remains on that track. Here are three of the main reasons I believe the healthcare stock can turn things around.
1. Gross margins are high despite inflation
One of the reasons I'm optimistic that Teladoc has a path to profitability is that it is able to maintain strong gross margins (what's left after deducting all the direct costs of production). Over the past few years, the company has averaged an impressive gross margin of 66%.
As the business gets more popular and Teladoc needs to spend less on advertising, its bottom line will improve. In its early growth stages, that can be difficult to achieve. But today, Teladoc Health's business remains strong, and maintaining these types of gross margins amid inflation is no easy feat and can set the company up for success later on.
In its third quarter (ended Sept. 30), the company's net loss shrank by 13% to $73.5 million. While Teladoc still has a long way to get to breakeven, I'm confident that with its strong margins and promising growth, it can get out of the red sooner rather than later.
2. Revenue is still growing and guidance is encouraging
Another positive from the Q3 earnings report was that while year-over-year growth has been slowing down, the drop has been gradual. Despite a slowdown in business spending, sales growth hasn't turned negative for Teladoc as it has for some businesses.
Sales in Q3 were up 17% year over year to $611.4 million. In the previous period, the growth rate was 18%. And for the last three months of the year, the company is expecting year-over-year growth between 12% and 16%.
Although those aren't sky-high growth numbers, that's still good growth at a time when companies are cutting back on expenses in preparation for a possible recession.
3. Membership numbers are strong and stable
U.S. paid membership numbers are also a key metric for investors to track as this shows how many people are signing up for the telehealth service. In Q3, that figure came in at 57.8 million, which was a 10% increase year over year.
It was also higher than Teladoc's forecast in the previous quarter, which estimated between 55.5 million and 56.5 million paid memberships. The company, however, remains modest in its projections, expecting between 57 million and 58 million paid memberships to finish the year.
Is Teladoc Health stock a buy today?
Shares of Teladoc Health have been rallying of late, but the stock is still down 68% since the start of the year. And on a price-to-sales basis, it's trading at less of a premium than before the pandemic.
Teladoc's stock has taken a beating this year. But with telehealth still looking promising over the long run in being able to help drive efficiency in the healthcare industry, this could be a top stock to own for years.