Teladoc doubles Q1 revenue following busy flu season, but remains in the red

By Dave Muoio
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Amidst big gains in total revenue, memberships, and user engagement, Q1 2018 earnings reported by Teladoc show that the telemedicine company is still a long way from turning a profit.

But while this quarter’s reported net loss of $23.9 million is a noticeable increase over the $15.7 million of the same time last year, CEO Jason Gorevic said during an investor call that the company is still on track with its long-term plans, and has plenty to be proud of this quarter.

“We saw a very strong start to 2018 with continued success across the business and another quarter in which we exceeded our expectations for all of our key metrics,” he said. “… With several months of 2018 behind us, I’m pleased to see that the leverage in our model is clearly contributing to our improved financial and operational performance. While we forecasted this leverage for quite a while, we are pleased to see it come to fruition and happy to report that we’re on track to achieve our long-term financial targets.”

Total revenue in the first quarter of 2018 was $89.6 million, up 109 percent on an absolute basis and 47 percent on an organic basis, the company reported. This revenue was largely driven by subscription access fees, which also increased 109 percent to $71.7 million compared to the previous year.

In total, the company conducted approximately 606,000 visits during the quarter (compared to 385,000 in Q1 2017), with roughly 554,000 visits coming from US paid members. These numbers spiked during the peak flu season, the number of visits exceeded 8,000 daily. This represented a 5 to 10 percent increase in the company’s projected utilization, although Gorevic said that it’s too early to tell what portion of those who used the service for the first time during the flu season will become long-term users.

Gorevic addressed concerns about the greater net loss and increasing operating expenses by citing the company’s well-established infrastructure and the steady rate at which the company’s revenue growth is beginning to outpace its expenses.

“During the quarter, every one of our cash-based operating expense lines increased less than our top line growth,” he said. “The best example of this is our G&A (General and Administrative Expense), which is our single largest operating expense and is declining materially as a percentage of revenue from 34 percent in the first quarter of 2017 to 27 percent this quarter, and we expect this trend to continue.”

Gorevic’s optimism also extended to a handful of other trends and market opportunities that he highlighted during the call. These included his belief that Teladoc is “uniquely positioned” to benefit from the past few months’ high-profile mergers and acquisitions, as well as the results of a recent internal analysis that showed increased user engagement resulting from the additional products and services Teladoc has added to its virtual care platform.

“Both average number of visits per user and the number of users per thousand increases with more products," he said. "Said another way, by adding more clinical services, we get both greater depth and breadth of engagement with the population. This bodes very well as we continue to expand the scope of our offering, both in the US and globally.”Air Max 95 20th Anniversary