Doubling your money sounds great, but trying to do it quickly carries a lot of risk. That might be hard to believe after seeing meme stocks like Gamestop and cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin climb 1,550% and 5,640%, respectively, this year. However, there are at least two healthcare stocks that should provide that return — if you have the patience.
Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) and Fulgent Genetics (NASDAQ:FLGT) are significantly off their highs but have booming businesses that will eventually catch up with their stock prices. Each played an important role during the pandemic, and Wall Street is nervous now that cases are falling. However, investors able to look past the negative headlines should see big gains on the horizon.
As you would expect, business for the virtual-care provider skyrocketed during the pandemic. Revenue in 2020 was 188% higher than in 2019, thanks to the demand for virtual care and a couple of acquisitions. The first quarter of 2021 showed little deceleration. Overall growth was 151%, with 69% attributable to the legacy business — without acquisitions.
The stock is nearly 50% off its all-time high as investors fret over slowing member growth and concerns that the need for virtual visits will collapse as cases of COVID-19 disappear. As for member growth, it turns out a lot of customers accelerated deals last year to get their members onto the company’s platform. It may take a while for that pipeline to fill back up. Management only projected about 2% member growth this year at the midpoint.
In the meantime, the company continues to deepen its relationship with clients by cross-selling Livongo — a chronic-disease management platform it acquired in 2020 — and launching its virtual primary-care program, Primary360. That program has already signed some Fortune 1000 clients for the back half of 2021 and is on target to launch nationally in the first quarter of 2022.
The combination of the two — primary-care physicians diagnosing patients who can benefit from Livongo’s services — will significantly increase the revenue opportunity per member. In fact, it already has. Per-member-per-month (PMPM) revenue was $2.24 in the most recent quarter, compared to only $0.87 in the same quarter last year.
While Wall Street might be waiting for the number of members to reaccelerate, the business continues to do more for customers and get paid for it. Shares might be stuck in a rut for now, but expect the stock to climb as deals get inked to start in 2022 and investors do the math on the benefit from PMPM.
2. Fulgent Genetics
In early April 2020, Fulgent launched a COVID-19 PCR test that triggered growth like few companies have ever experienced. For the year, revenue climbed 3,400%, and the company conducted 230 times the number of billable tests as it did in 2019. Those results drove shares up 303% for the year. At the peak, the stock had climbed more than 1,300% from the beginning of 2020 to mid-February 2021.
Now that the rollout of vaccines have driven cases and deaths down significantly, the prospects for continued testing have fallen, too. Fulgent’s shares have fallen with them. They’re down more than 50% from their high. But the company proved two things last year that should give investors confidence that massive profits — and stock gains — are on the horizon.
First, Fulgent’s ability to pivot from genetic to viral testing was impressive. The virus was mentioned once on its March 10, 2020 earnings call and 48 times in the subsequent May presentation. Between those dates, management expanded the company’s lab capacity and developed an end-to-end process for performing COVID tests. It also created its PCR test, as well as one utilizing next-generation genome sequencing. While many waited days or even a week for a test result, Fulgent’s customers experienced a turnaround time that averaged less than 24 hours, thanks in part to a custom portal.
Second, the business was wildly profitable as it expanded. Even before the pandemic, management had pointed to a disciplined cost structure and the ability to reduce costs and prices with volume. Last year proved the point, and then some. Both operating profit and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbed almost 15 times faster than sales last year.
Through 2020, the company was recognized by the state of California for its performance, signed its first pricing agreements with insurance companies, and continued to add large customers in the public and private sector. Those are relationships the company expects to last beyond the pandemic. If growth is any indication, they have.
Management is guiding for $830 million in revenue this year. That’s 97% growth on top of last year’s incredible numbers. Meanwhile, its non-COVID business continues to hum along. It’s projected to grow 174% in 2021.
The pandemic may be subsiding, and COVID testing could fall off with it, but Fulgent Genetics has all the makings of a market-beating investment. The only question is how long it will take.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.