After a Rough Year, It’s Time to Reconsider Investing in Teladoc Health

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 made telemedicine specialist Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC) famous on Wall Street. Investors are fickle, though, and in 2021 TDOC stock was unloved and, perhaps, underpriced.

The Teladoc (TDOC) logo through a magnifying glass.

Source: Postmodern Studio / Shutterstock.com

In early 2022, the sentiment surrounding Teladoc is still overwhelmingly bearish. For example, Piper Sandler analyst Sean Wieland recently lowered his price target on Teladoc from $183 to $118.

On the other hand, Wieland is “encouraged that TDOC is investing in a unified platform.” As we’ll discover, Teladoc’s business model is evolving as telemedicine itself is expanding to address the needs of more patients.

Teladoc also just expanded its partnership with a large organization, and this could boost Teladoc’s bottom line. So maybe, a long position in this beaten-down stock is just what the doctor ordered.

A Closer Look at TDOC Stock

Granted, it could be argued that TDOC stock went up too much, too fast as it rallied from $85 in early 2020 to $308 in February of 2021. Today’s investors must be realistic, and the Teladoc share price has declined sharply since early 2021. Most likely, a revisit of $300 isn’t in the cards this year.

And to be honest, it’s hard to blame Wieland for lowering his price target on Teladoc to $118. After all, the share price was down to $80 recently.

In other words, you may have an opportunity to own TDOC stock at a pre-Covid-19 price point. It’s as if Wall Street can’t envision a future for telehealth anymore — but is this rational?

Focus on Whole-Person Healthcare

In October of last year, Teladoc signaled a change, not only in the company’s business model but in the future of virtual healthcare.

At that time, Teladoc made its primary care service, Primary360, widely available in the U.S. With this, patients could access healthcare practitioners quickly and more conveniently.

Impressively, Teladoc’s physicians would typically be available within one week for a new patient visit in all 50 U.S. states. That’s a vast improvement compared to the average wait time of roughly one month for a new primary care physician.

Not only that, but it was found that 50% of Primary360 members took advantage of at least one other Teladoc Health service. Furthermore, nearly 30% of the members used two connected services, such as mental health care, urgent care, dermatology and/or nutrition.

Really, Primary360 is part of Teladoc’s broader push for whole-person care. The future of telemedicine, and of patient care in general, should involve not only virtual medical care but also convenient access to chronic care and mental-health care.

Through Primary360 and other service offerings, Teladoc Health seeks to provide a suite of virtual solutions that’s broad, personalized and relationship-based.

A Win-Win Partnership

If you’re starting to get the idea that Teladoc is boldly revolutionizing healthcare, you’re on the right track.

Clearly, the company’s platform is intended to be as inclusive as possible. As evidence of this, Teladoc Health recently announced its expanded partnership with the National Labor Alliance of Health Care Coalitions (NLA).

This should be a major win-win for all of the stakeholders involved. The NLA is the largest alliance of labor unions and labor management coalitions, and Teladoc will offer its full suite of virtual-care products and services — including Primary360 — to qualified members.

Kelly Bliss, president of US Group Health at Teladoc Health, emphasized the benefits that will be provided to the NLA’s six million U.S. members. “We are excited to expand our partnership with the National Labor Alliance as they fully embrace the value of whole-person virtual care to help reduce costs, expedite access to care and improve overall quality of care,” Bliss explained.

Bottom Line on Teladoc

Most TDOC stockholders would probably like to forget about what happened in 2021. Hopefully, they’ll fare better this year.

They’ll be glad to know, however, that Teladoc Health is still a leader and innovator in telemedicine. The company’s focus on whole-person care will undoubtedly influence the telehealth market for years to come.

Will this lead to enhanced revenues and profits? Only time will tell. For risk-tolerant traders, though, TDOC stock certainly looks like an underpriced investment in the future of virtual healthcare.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


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