Whatever you think about Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), there's no question that the electric vehicle (EV) pioneer has enjoyed a remarkable year. Its shares have skyrocketed more than 660%. The company generated record revenue and profits. Tesla was even selected to be added to the S&P 500 index.
So, sure, Tesla deserves some big-time kudos. But there's another hot stock delivering sales growth that blows Tesla away. It's also a lot smaller than the EV giant. This stock has received plenty of attention from investors this year, although not nearly to the extent that Tesla has. What is this mystery stock? None other than leading telehealth provider Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC).
IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.
Faster than a speeding Model S
While Tesla is selling more of its cars than ever before, its sales growth simply doesn't hold a candle to Teladoc's. The following chart compares the two companies' trailing-12-month revenue growth. Tesla's rate of growth is good, but Teladoc's sales are zooming higher faster than a speeding Model S.
TSLA REVENUE (TTM) DATA BY YCHARTS
Why is Teladoc's revenue growing nearly four times faster than Tesla's? The credit primarily goes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shelter-in-place orders in much of the U.S. earlier this year caused a surge in telehealth visits. During the first nine months of 2020, Teladoc's total visits soared 163% to 7.6 million.
Don't think for a second that Teladoc's momentum is running out, though. Actually, the company is experiencing accelerated growth. Teladoc reported that its total visits more than tripled in the third quarter, driving revenue up 109% year over year.
Tesla had a great Q3, too, but its 42% year-over-year revenue growth still lagged well behind Teladoc's performance.
Some might object to the idea of comparing Teladoc with Tesla. After all, the companies operate in completely different lanes. The electric vehicle business isn't anything like the telehealth services business. That's true, but every stock competes with every other stock for investors' hard-earned money, in a sense.
Tesla is clearly winning the race against Teladoc right now. Its stock has soared nearly five times more than Teladoc's stock has in 2020.
It certainly doesn't hurt Tesla's appeal to investors that the company is already profitable. Despite the huge jump in revenue this year, Teladoc still hasn't achieved profitability.
There's also probably a perception gap about the post-pandemic possibilities for each company. Tesla could receive a boost when the COVID-19 worries fade and people have more money to spend on cars. The incoming Biden administration's focus on climate change could also help push consumers toward Tesla's electric vehicles and solar roofs. On the other hand, some worry that the end of the pandemic could throttle Teladoc's growth as patients return to visiting healthcare professionals in person.
I think worries about Teladoc in a post-pandemic world are misplaced. Surveys show that most Americans like using telehealth and want the option even after the coronavirus crisis is behind us.
Thanks to its recent acquisition of Livongo Health, Teladoc now should be even more attractive to corporate customers. Livongo's digital health platform for helping patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension is a perfect fit for Teladoc's core telehealth services.
Teladoc estimates that its total addressable market now tops $120 billion per year in the U.S. alone. The company currently has a market share of less than 1%. The healthcare stock has tremendous potential as virtual care, including telehealth and remote disease management, gain adoption.
Tesla's accolades are well-deserved, but I think Teladoc Health, with its faster-growing revenue and much smaller market cap, also has an electric opportunity ahead.
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