There is no need to break the bank or wipe out one's savings to start investing in stocks. Indeed, with as little as $30, investors can acquire at least one share of some exciting businesses that have a chance to deliver outsized returns over the long run.
Case in point: Teladoc Health (TDOC -0.46%) and Pinterest (PINS 0.11%) are two companies, each a leader in its respective area, whose shares are changing hands for less than $30 apiece as of this writing. Both have faced issues in the past year, but there are excellent reasons to be optimistic.
Telemedicine specialist Teladoc is finding out the hard way that growth at all costs isn't as appealing to investors anymore. Last year, the company recorded a massive net loss of $13.7 billion, about $13.4 billion of which was due to impairment charges linked to its 2020 acquisition of Livongo Health.
So although Teladoc's top line increased by a solid 18% year over year to $2.4 billion, its shares were southbound for most of 2022. Teladoc's shares are currently worth about $25, even after rising by 7% this year.
The good news is that Teladoc is looking to prioritize the bottom line. Management is working on cutting costs, notably by laying off 6% of its workforce during the first quarter, among other initiatives. Achieving greater efficiency will lead to stronger growth for the company's earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), at least if we go by the company's guidance for the fiscal year 2023.
Teladoc expects revenue growth between 6% and 11% year over year for 2023, but with EBITDA growth between 12% and 32%. Putting aside its impairment charges, which won't last forever, Teladoc isn't that far away from profitability. If it can increase EBITDA at the predicted pace this year and the next, green on the bottom line will be in sight, if not reality, by the end of 2025.
And while slowing top-line growth rates aren't ideal, let's look at the big picture. Teladoc's popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic, but things are cooling off now. That's a familiar story for many companies, including some very prominent ones.
The good news for Teladoc is that there is plenty of room to grow in the telemedicine industry, considering how convenient virtual care services are. Some estimates project a compound annual growth rate of 24% through 2030.
Some of Teladoc's segments will continue rising. The company's virtual therapy service, BetterHelp, has been on fire. According to the company, it is now a more than $1 billion business and has more than doubled in the past few years. But management thinks the virtual therapy market remains underpenetrated.
Teladoc's data and analytics-based health coaching for diabetes patients through Livongo Health also looks promising.
With a modest forward price-to-sales ratio of 1.6 (under 2 is generally good), Teladoc looks reasonably valued, too. Expect the company's revenue growth to stabilize while it becomes profitable in the next five years. And beyond that, Teladoc will continue to ride the fast-growing telemedicine industry and deliver solid returns over the next decade.
Pinterest is a social media giant whose platform allows users to search for and save images (called Pins), especially those related to various creative and artistic endeavors. So the company is very different from other social media giants that focus on keeping up with friends and family members or sharing one's opinion regarding the latest news. This differentiating factor is important, since it means Pinterest can coexist with other players in this industry.
The company makes revenue through ads, which was a problem last year as ad spending decreased. However, the company saw some positive developments in 2022 as well. After several quarters of declining user growth, that changed last year. Pinterest ended the year with 450 million monthly active users (MAUs), an improvement of 4% year over year. The company's revenue for 2022 jumped by 9% year over year to $2.8 billion.
That was mainly due to an increase in its average revenue per user, which came in at $6.36 for the year, 10% higher than the year-ago period. However, Pinterest isn't consistently profitable. It reported a net loss of about $96.4 million in 2022, compared to the net income of $316.4 million recorded in 2021.
But Pinterest is also working on reducing expenses. It significantly slowed down hiring and closed down offices to cut costs. These efforts will address one of the company's core priorities: to increase its margins.
Meanwhile, Pinterest still sees plenty of room to grow engagement and, therefore, average revenue per user (ARPU). One of the ways it is doing so is by creating a library of video content, including the short-form video format that has proven so successful with other social media platforms. Pinterest reports that this initiative is working, especially among Gen Z users.
However, perhaps the company's most lucrative opportunity is in e-commerce. Presenting visually appealing images of a product, which are plentiful on Pinterest, is a great advertising strategy. And if users can shop directly on a platform that presents these images, that's even more convenient. That's why Pinterest's e-commerce ambitions are attractive.
The company wants to make every Pin shoppable, creating a massive market opportunity on the website. Of course, advertising spending will also pick back up eventually, helping Pinterest record higher revenue than it did last year in this category.
All these opportunities could allow Pinterest to deliver outsized returns over the long run, making the stock a buy, especially at just under $26 per share.