Wednesday, December 6, 2023

2 Down-on-Their-Luck Stocks That Could Go Parabolic

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The bear market knocked down growth stocks by the dozens last year — even if these companies didnt reportbad news. So, if a particular growth company actually did report disappointing news, losses were much greater. And that’s what happened to Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC) and Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX).

Teladoc reported two significant impairment charges. And Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine authorization came later than expected. The companies may be heading for better days, though. And that’s why these growth players could go parabolic.

1. Teladoc Health

Teladoc stock sank 74% last year after the company reported two noncash goodwill impairment charges. These implied the telemedicine giant paid too much when it acquired Livongo back in 2020.

But it’s important to remember chronic care is a key growth area for Teladoc — and Livongo brought it strengths there. This could boost Teladoc’s revenue significantly over time. Today, about 28% of Teladoc members use more than one of Teladoc’s chronic care programs. That’s up from 3% prior to the pandemic.

Teladoc already is a leader in telehealth. But it’s been making investments in its business to serve the “whole person” that should pay off over time. Actually, the gains are already starting. Last year, Teladoc’s mental health unit, BetterHelp, generated $1 billion in revenue. This helped the company revise higher its revenue estimates for the quarter and the full year.

The healthcare company has also continued to grow revenue and visits in the double digits from quarter to quarter. And in the most recent quarter, Teladoc’s loss narrowed. So it looks like the company has made it through its toughest days — and brighter ones lie ahead.

What about the price? Today, Teladoc shares trade at their lowest price ever in relation to sales. This is a huge opportunity for investors to get in on a company that has what it takes to deliver high growth well into the future. And a few bits of good news could send the stock soaring at any moment.

2. Novavax

Novavax plunged 92% last year, a painful drop for a company that once was among the biggest hopefuls in the coronavirus vaccine race. Novavax stock had soared 2,700% back in 2020 as investors bet on its vaccine program.

So, what happened? Novavax initially struggled with a manufacturing ramp up. That set it behind in its regulatory submission timeline. In fact, Novavax’s vaccine entered most markets about a year after rivals. And authorization took even longer in the U.S.

Novavax missed out on the biggest revenue opportunity of the pandemic. That spurred many investors to look elsewhere for growth opportunities — even though Novavax still is set to generate about $2 billion in total revenue for the 2022 full year.

But all may not be lost. Novavax recently appointed a new chief executive officer as longtime CEO Stanley Erck plans to retire. The possibility of a new strategy or approach could encourage investors to give Novavax a second look.

The company also is making progress on its combined coronavirus/flu vaccine candidate. That could become a major product in the future if all goes well. These elements — or even better-than-expected sales of its vaccine next year — could help this down-on-its luck stock soar.

So, should investors buy Teladoc and Novavax right now?

It depends on your investment style. Novavax still remains high-risk. Cautious investors may want to watch this company from the sidelines for now. Novavax may be a good bet for aggressive investors, though. The company might be down — and that could last for a while — but, as mentioned above, there are reasons to believe it isn’t out.

Teladoc also carries risk. But the company offers investors more visibility regarding future sales prospects and strategy right now than Novavax. So, it may appeal to a broader range of investors.

In any case, no matter your investment style, you’ll want to keep an eye on these exciting stocks in the new year.

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Adria Cimino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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