Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) skyrocketed after its initial public offering earlier this year. Even after retreating from its highs set in late July, shares of the plant-based meat company are still up more than 120%.
Why has this stock captured the attention (and the money) of so many investors? It's partly because of the increased focus of Americans on their health. Beyond Meat's burgers, beef, and sausages have no cholesterol and less saturated fat than animal-based meats do. Much of the interest in Beyond Meat, though, can be chalked up to the hype about the stock and a herd mentality among investors.
But I think investors should ignore Beyond Meat. There are two better stocks you can buy right now that benefit from an increased focus on health -- Charlotte's Web Holdings (OTC: CWBHF) and Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC).
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Charlotte's Web sold cannabidiol (CBD) products before CBD was cool. The company was a pioneer in the hemp CBD market and received a lot of national publicity in 2013 with the story of a young girl, Charlotte Figi, who experienced fewer seizures caused by a rare form of epilepsy after taking Charlotte's Web CBD product.
While Charlotte's Web steadily built its business over the past several years, it still operated in something of a gray area. Some states allowed the use and sale of hemp CBD while others didn't under a federal law that allowed the use of hemp products for research. But hemp became legal at the federal level in December 2018 when the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law.
The hemp CBD market took off as more stores began selling CBD products. Charlotte's Web has more than doubled the number of retail locations that carry its products since the beginning of this year. Over 8,000 stores now sell its products, with the company receiving a big boost from its deal with Kroger announced in July.
Hemp Industry Daily projects that the U.S. hemp CBD market will soar from around $1 billion in 2019 to up to $7.5 billion by 2023. Brightfield Group is much more optimistic, estimating that the market will reach $22 billion by 2022. Regardless of which projection ends up being more accurate, Charlotte's Web has a huge market opportunity before it.
Charlotte's Web ranks as the No. 1 hemp CBD brand in the United States. Its products include CBD oils, capsules, topical creams, and CBD products for dogs. The company plans to launch new product lines such as cosmetics as well. It's also ramping up its production capacity. Charlotte's Web is nearly tripling its hemp acreage planted this year in comparison with 2018.
Unlike Beyond Meat, the company is consistently profitable. Its revenue continues to grow rapidly, with year-over-year sales growth of 45% in the most recent quarter. Charlotte's Web also has a new CEO, Deanie Elsner, who has an impressive track record in the consumer packaged goods industry. This stock could very well be one of the biggest winners from expansion in the CBD market.
Teladoc Health pioneered another fast-growing health-related market -- telemedicine. The company enables patients to interact with healthcare professionals by internet or phone from anywhere at any time of the day or week.
But Teladoc's value proposition isn't just focused on convenience for patients. The company primarily targets its virtual care platform to employers, insurers, and government entities that are looking to control rising healthcare costs. Teledoc's services enable these organizations to pay less on average than they would with traditional office visits with physicians.
This cost-saving advantage has been key to Teladoc's building a large customer base. The company now has more than 12,000 clients, including 40% of the Fortune 500 and over 40 U.S. health insurers.
Teladoc Health stands to benefit from several key trends. Probably the most important of these is aging populations in the U.S. and across the world. As the numbers of seniors increase, the demand for healthcare services will grow. Another important trend is the growing shortage of physicians, particularly in certain specialties and geographic regions. Teladoc's virtual care services offer a way to address these issues.
The company's revenue has grown by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 64% over the past four years. Acquisitions have helped drive part of this growth, but much of it has also been organic. In the second quarter of 2019, for example, Teladoc reported organic year-over-year revenue growth of 24%, with overall revenue growth of nearly 38%.
One knock against Teladoc is that it isn't profitable yet. However, the company is now delivering positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). Teladoc also expects to be cash flow-positive in 2019.
Beyond the hype
There is some hype for CBD and telehealth, but it pales in comparison with the hype surrounding Beyond Meat. While Charlotte's Web and Teladoc Health shares trade at around 9 and 11 times sales, respectively, Beyond Meat trades at a sky-high price-to-sales multiple of 56.
All three companies should have great growth prospects. However, investors won't have to put rationale thinking on the shelf to buy Charlotte's Web and Teladoc.
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