Telehealth stocks are trending lower at the moment. All in hopes we may finally have a vaccine from companies like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). However, don’t count out telehealth companies just yet. With or without the coronavirus, we could still see plenty of demand with patients and providers becoming far more comfortable with virtual appointments and less face-to-face time.
“Virtual care adoption accelerated during the pandemic after Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers expanded coverage and the government allowed providers to administer telehealth over platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime. Congress will need to make these changes to telehealth coverage in Medicare permanent since they are slated to end once the public health emergency is over,” as reported by Becker’s Hospital Review.
In addition, no one is quite sure how long a vaccine could last after being administered. Until that is known, patients may want to limit in-person exposure.
“The critical need for social distancing among physicians and patients will drive unprecedented demand for telehealth, which involves the use of communication systems and networks to enable either a synchronous or asynchronous session between the patient and provider,” said Victor Camlek, healthcare principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, as quoted by Healthcare IT News.
With that in mind, here are five top telehealth stocks to consider:
- Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC)
- Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM)
- CVS Health (NYSE:CVS)
- Global X Telemedicine & Digital Health ETF (NASDAQ:EDOC)
- American Well Corp. (NYSE:AMWL)
Telehealth Stocks to Watch: Teladoc Health (TDOC)
The first time I weighed in on Teladoc Health was back in March of this year. I said, “I wouldn’t be shocked if shares of the virtual health care provider soared to $200 per share. All as it links patients with medical professionals by phone or computer.”
That was on March 25, as TDOC stock traded at a low of $134.13. It would hit a high of $253 at the start of August, before pulling back to a current price of about $185. While it’s shown signs of weakness on vaccine news, don’t count it out just yet. It could see $220 again soon.
Earnings have been just as explosive.
In fact, year-over-year Q3 revenue grew 109% to $288.8 million, as total visits bumped up by 206% to 2.8 million. Year-over-year nine-month revenue grew by 79% to $710.6 million, as total visits increased by 163% to 7.6 million.
“Our strong third quarter results exceeded expectations, driven by broad-based strength across the business and building on the momentum we saw in the first half of the year,” said Teladoc Health CEO Jason Gorevic. “We are seeing significant market success and consistent growth in member visits throughout all of our commercial channels. With the addition of Livongo later this year, we will be creating a new category of whole person virtual care that will transform how people live healthier lives.”
I also brought Anthem to your attention as a telehealth opportunity on March 25. At the time, the ANTM stock traded at around $187. It’s now up to $313.97 and still running. That puts it right above my price target of $310 a share. From here, I’d like to see another test of its prior high around $338, near-term.
The pandemic has created the perfect opportunity for Anthem to expand and market some of its products and services. The company’s Live Health Online, for example, allows patients to consult with health professionals about the coronavirus, among other mental and physical health concerns. The program costs $59 or less per visit and allows users to “get expert advice, a treatment plan and prescriptions if needed.”
CVS Health (CVS)
Another company I brought your attention to on March 25 was CVS Health at $52.27. It’s now up to $67.65 after testing a high of $74.06. That’s just below my price target of $75.
In May 2020, the company saw a 600% jump in its telehealth services. “Utilization of telemedicine for virtual visits through MinuteClinic is up about 600% compared to (the first quarter of 2019),” CVS chief executive Larry Merlo told analysts.
Global X Telemedicine & Digital Health ETF (EDOC)
One of my favorite ways to trade within any sector is by diversifying with an exchange-traded fund (ETF). That way, you can gain exposure to more at less cost. For example, the EDOC ETF offers exposure to “companies involved in Telemedicine, Health Care Analytics, Connected Health Care Devices, and Administrative Digitization” for just $17.80 a share. Some of the top holdings include Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN), Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) and Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN).
The EDOC ETF is a fairly new fund, beginning its trading in late July, and has already had an impressive showing. It is currently up more than 14% since its inception. The total expense ratio of this ETF is 0.68%, or $68 per $10,000 invested annually.
American Well Corp. (AMWL)
American Well Corp. is another hot telehealth stock to keep an eye on. After exploding from a low of $22.11 to nearly $42, AMWL stock did pull back to $24, but there’s still good opportunity to be found here, with patience.
In November, the company noted that at the end of Q3, it had total active providers of approximately 62,000, which is a 930% increase year-over-year. Total visits for Q3 reached 1,414,000, an increase of 450% compared to a year ago. And Q3 revenue of $62.6 million increased 80% year-over-year. Plus, it just announced new products including Amwell Now, Touchpoint Tablet software and the C500 telemedicine cart.
“We are pleased to announce that third quarter results reflect our business’ momentum and ongoing role in responding to the continued, widespread demand for telehealth infrastructure. Our platform’s unique ability to simplify high-quality, virtual care delivery that supports existing patient-physician relationships differentiates us in the growing market,” commented Ido Schoenberg, chairman and co-CEO of Amwell.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Ian Cooper, a contributor to InvestorPlace.com, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999.