If I could pick a single phrase to describe the events of this year, “expect the unexpected” is the first that comes to mind. The economic volatility induced by the pandemic is particularly evident when we look at the stock market. Earlier this year, travel and retail stocks plummeted while high-growth stocks associated with the new stay-at-home norm, like Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC), Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM), and Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), hit all-time highs.
Then on Monday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) announced that interim late-stage trial data showed its coronavirus vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in the prevention of infection of COVID-19. Popular lockdown stocks dropped significantly in a matter of hours, while previously hard-hit sectors like airline and cruise stocks saw gains. Is this the beginning of the end for stay-at-home stocks? I would argue that it’s not.
While this vaccine news is hopeful, the reality of near-term supply constraints combined with cold storage concerns means that most of us likely won’t have access to a vaccine for many months to come, even if one is released before year’s end. Furthermore, while it’s true that some trendy coronavirus stocks may lack the underlying fundamentals to sustain meaningful long-term growth, Teladoc, Zoom, and Adobe were all clear winners pre-pandemic. Here’s why adding shares of these three stocks to your portfolio could help set you up for life.
As of Nov. 12, shares of Teladoc are up 122% year to date, even though the stock fell about 14% on Monday on the heels of vaccine news. It’s no secret that telehealth is a booming industry — one that experts predict will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% between 2019 and 2027. In the nine-month period ending on Sept. 30, Teladoc reported that its revenue was up 79% and visits on its platform surged by 163% compared to the same stretch of time last year.
As a leader in digital healthcare, there’s no doubt that Teladoc has greatly benefited from the heightened demand for its platform’s services due to stay-at-home orders and ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions. However, higher-than-average growth was the norm for the company long before the pandemic began. Over the past five years alone, Teladoc has consistently reported year-over-year percentage revenue increases in the double digits — 78% in 2015, 59% in 2016, 89% in 2017, 79% in 2018, and 32% in 2019.
During the third quarter of this year, Teladoc’s year-over-year revenue surged by triple digits at 109%, while visits were up by 206% compared to the same quarter last year. By the end of this year, management projects that the company will achieve approximately $1 billion in annual revenue, which would represent a more than 80% increase from its 2019 revenues. Management has also stated that it expects to record between 50 million and 51 million paid members in the U.S. for the full year, and up to 10.6 million visits on its platform for all of 2020.
Teladoc’s acquisition of applied health signals leader Livongo, a company that reported 126% year-over-year revenue growth in this last quarter, is setting the stage for the future of healthcare with an unprecedented global footprint. The combined resources and services of the two companies are slated to rake in “2020 pro forma revenue of approximately $1.3 billion,” according to Teladoc’s management. It might not be a bad idea to get onboard with Teladoc now, before the stock gets even bigger.
Zoom quickly earned the title of “hot stock” at the outset of the pandemic. From board meetings to online school to virtual birthday parties, Zoom has been the go-to solution for people quarantined around the globe. But the company was blowing analysts’ expectations out of the water long before the coronavirus hit. During the fiscal year 2020, which closed on Jan. 31, Zoom reported 88% year-over-year revenue growth compared to fiscal 2019, up to $622.7 million.
Zoom’s results for first-quarter fiscal 2021 ending on April 30 revealed a 169% year-over-year revenue increase, while the company’s revenue for the second quarter ending on July 31 was up 355% compared to the year-ago period. Zoom also has a manageable cash-to-debt ratio on its balance sheet. Management reported roughly $749 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared to Zoom’s $1.4 billion in total liabilities in the company’s second-quarter report.
Right now, the market reflects the fact that some investors are worried that Zoom may lose considerable steam once a vaccine is approved. In my opinion, this is an overreaction. At the moment, we are facing a global increase in coronavirus cases coupled with a long winter ahead, and we know that unfettered access to a vaccine is still a long way off. And while work-from-home trends may change in the future, many could be here to stay. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that by the end of next year, between 25% and 30% of workers will do their jobs at home more than one day a week.
Although shares of Zoom are down from last week, the company is still trading 531% higher than in January. And, despite the company’s impressive growth, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Zoom has been extremely overpriced for much of this year — the stock currently trades at an incredible 550 times trailing earnings. The coming months could be a great time to scoop up this unstoppable stock at a slightly more affordable price.
Adobe consistently delivers stellar financial results, in a pandemic or not. As a quick snapshot, the company reported 25% year-over-year revenue growth in fiscal 2017 and 24% year-over-year revenue increases in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019. During the first, second, and third fiscal quarters of this year, Adobe reported revenue growth of 19%, 14%, and 14% compared to the same periods in fiscal 2019.
Heightened demand for Adobe’s cloud solutions along with a surge in Digital Experience subscriptions have been consistent sources of revenue for the company this year. The third quarter, which ended on Aug. 28, was a particularly good one for the company. CEO and President Shantanu Narayen stated:
Adobe delivered the best Q3 in our history in a challenging macroeconomic environment, demonstrating the global demand for our innovative solutions. We are confident that our leadership in the creative, document and customer experience management categories will drive continued momentum in 2020 and beyond.
During the final quarter of fiscal 2020, management is targeting $3.4 billion in total revenues — more than double its third-quarter revenue numbers.
Shares of the company don’t come cheap. The stock currently trades for around $460, which is about 40% higher than its January share price. But, as one of the few truly recession-proof gems of the coronavirus stock market, Adobe is a stellar growth stock that you can buy now and hold onto for decades.
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