Teladoc’s CEO Made His Case. The Beaten-Down Stock Responded.

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Teladoc stock has sagged this year.

Courtesy of Teladoc

Shares of the virtual health firm


Health skyrocketed in the early part of the pandemic, as doctors and patients rushed to set up online visits. Teladoc, a pioneer in the space, saw its share price climb 138.8% in 2020.

Since then, though, the stock price has stumbled. Competitors such as

American Well

(AMWL) and even


(AMZN) have edged into the business. Teladoc has said it expected little membership growth. Teladoc shares are down 27.1% so far in 2021.

On Tuesday, the company’s CEO,
Jason Gorevic,
faced down tough questions from CNBC reporter Bertha Coombs at CNBC Healthy Returns, the network’s healthcare investing event. Investors seem to have taken heart, with the stock climbing 3.4% in Tuesday’s regular session.

Coombs, citing the sharp decline in Teladoc’s share price in recent months, asked Gorevic what he thought investors were missing. “I just think virtual care is not a stay-at-home phenomenon,” Gorevic said. “It’s here to stay.”

Asked about growing competition, including from

Amazon ’s

new telehealth product Amazon Care, which announced its first employer customer this month, Gorevic said that his company still had the most robust offerings.

“We have the broadest set of solutions in the market,” he said. “We’re not surprised by any of these moves.”

In the fall, Teladoc bought Livongo for $18.5 billion. Gorevic said that the deal had been an effort by Teladoc to maintain its dominance in the industry. “When you put us together, the set of capabilities, the scale, the breadth of our clinical solutions, and the depth of our ability to use data and data science to massively improve the quality of care, is unmatched in the market,” he said.

Gorevic played down the threat from Amazon Care. “I would say based on the fact that they have one enterprise client of 385 employees, overrated,” he said.

Analysts are similarly unperturbed. Of the 32 analysts tracked by FactSet who cover Teladoc, 20 rate it Buy or Overweight. Their mean target price is $233.28, which is 60% above the current stock price of $145.79.

In a note out May 6, Evercore ISI analyst Elizabeth Anderson said she expected Amazon’s telehealth presence to “grow slowly over time.”

“It will take time to understand how substantially Amazon Care’s offerings resonate with employers and it will also likely take time for Amazon to build the necessary payor relationships to compete at scale with the likes of” Teladoc and its competitors, Anderson wrote at the time.

Still, investors remain uncertain. The stock is down 13.8% in May, while the

S&P 500

is down 0.9%.

Shares were down 0.4% in premarket trading on Wednesday.

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