mekong22 Apr 2021 portfolio (& TDOC) update

This will be a pretty brief update this month, since April is largely in between earnings seasons for most of the companies I follow, and there wasn’t a whole lot of news to move stock prices in recent weeks.

Year To Date Performance By Month

 +5.0%  YTD Jan 
+14.6%  YTD Feb 
 -9.2%  YTD Mar
 -8.2%  YTD Apr

Allocation by Company at April 30, 2021

36.9%	MGNI  Magnite

13.6%	TTD   The Trade Desk
12.3%	MDB   MongoDB
10.5%	NTNX  Nutanix

 7.4%	DOCU  Docusign
 6.0%	LSPD  Lightspeed
 5.0%	SMAR  Smartsheets
 4.3%	DDOG  Datadog
 4.1%	TDOC  Teladoc

I had very few transactions this month. The small increase in my portfolio was driven by small increases in TTD, MDB, DOCU and LSPD, partially offset by decreases in MGNI and SMAR, with the rest largely unchanged.

I did sell a very small sliver of DDOG to add a little bit to SMAR when it’s price came down to about $60 (where it still is today) and I also added a little bit more Magnite when it dipped into the $34’s (I know I know, I just couldn’t help myself).

I’m tempted to add more Smartsheets at these prices, the valuation just feels really cheap compared to my own expectations for them, but I just can’t bring myself to sell much of anything else right now. The next few weeks of earnings reports should hopefully help guide my next moves.

Teladoc Earnings

My one company that reported Q1 earnings so far was Teladoc on Wednesday, and they were subsequently rewarded with a swift -10% reduction in stock price. There were plenty of things to like about their performance, but I can also understand why the market is holding back, and probably will be taking a wait and see approach for the next few quarters due to high costs and planned spending for the rest of 2021 (not so bad in my opinion, more on that in a sec), tough comp’s against a pandemic boosted 2020, and the big Livongo purchase which muddies up the comparisons somewhat, at least until we lap the acquisition date.

Q1 Revenue increased +151%. Excluding Livongo, revenue grew +69% against organic legacy Teladoc.

Recent drivers and guidance

Mental health services have been driving growth recently. I guess that isn’t too surprising given the challenges that many people have faced during the pandemic this year. Teladoc’s growth was hindered by a “historically weak flu season” this year, again not too surprising given the physical distancing and mask requirements around the country.

Although the guidance raise this quarter was relatively small, on the earnings call they commented that (other than last year when COVID boosted their business), they have never previously increased guidance as early as the end of the first quarter, so this is an indication that management is optimistic about how 2021 is likely to play out and that their estimates may prove conservative.
They also commented on the earnings call that they have forecast essentially no traditional flu season this upcoming winter either, so that is an area where they noted there could be some upside if protocols start to relax in the second half of 2021 and even a fraction of normal (non-COVID) seasonal flu levels resurface.

A year ago, only 5% of chronic care members used more than one product. A year later, this has tripled to 15%, and they feel that only 15% today leaves an “enormous runway” for additional expansion within their chronic care members.

In 2020, Teladoc’s B2B business grew by +500% and they currently expect that it will more than double again this year in 2021.

Livongo acquisition and 2021 investments/costs

They have still not even started to recognize the cross selling opportunity with Livongo. April was the first time that Teladoc customers could access any Livongo programs from within the TDOC app, but they referred to this as a small “step 1” on the call. They commented that LVGO’s products are moving into their channel “faster than expected”, but it won’t be until early next year, when their new “completely redesigned” interface combines all products and optimizes the experience.

Following on that topic, a few of the analyst questions were about costs and investments, as those costs and related net losses, seem to be one of the things that booked the market after the company reported this week. Part of that expense is related to stock based comp, valuation allowances, and amortization associated with the Livongo purchase, and probably just comes with the territory when you make a huge acquisition like this one, so I’m not so concerned with that right now. They described 2021 as an “investment year” and noted that the three categories of outsized spend this year will be

  1. new product launches
  2. expand geographies and
  3. Livongo integration (which I assume includes the new overall redesigned interface)

All of these make perfect sense to be areas to invest right now, in such a young industry where being one of the first movers should prove to be very important. But given the tough comps from last year’s pandemic environment, and the high costs we’ll see for a while, and the new optimized interface and experience not coming online until 2022, might give wall street a lot of reasons to hold back for the next few quarters and make TDOC 's stock price relatively flat for much of 2021. To me, I don’t see the stock as expensive right now, and I expect they are going to have years of high growth ahead of them, and trying to time when the stock might start to move again, whether it be after Q3, or Q4, get announced, is not something I feel I can predict, and I don’t want to be on the sidelines when the fruits of their current move the needle more significantly.

Other interesting items

The other thing that caught my attention on the earnings call is how valuable they feel the data they are collecting, will ultimately be. They referred to it as a “treasure trove”, giving one example that they currently get 2 million blood glucose readings every week. I don’t pretend to know exactly how their data trove will ultimately help drive the business or be monetized, but I think we all know that whomever has the most data these days, tends to be at the forefront of of where many things are headed, and I bet Teladoc makes good use of this to help their patients, medical providers, and ultimately the company and its shareholders.

Another thing I noticed is that gross margin % has increased from 60% to 68% over the past year. At least some of that is likely due to adding Livongo, whose margins I believe were in the mid 70%'s pre-acquisition.

Potential flags, areas to monitor, and overall final thoughts

Items to keep an eye on, and were likely also responsible for the post-earnings stock decline, are relatively gradual forecasted growth in users, visits, and sequential growth baked into next quarter and the full year revenue and bottom line guidance. Some of that I do think involves some conservative guidance, as well as the expectation that the big investments being made this year will take until 2022 to start to really pay off and come to fruition.

I see myself holding tight and seeing how things play out over the rest of 2021, and will be particularly interested in how things look once we get into guidance and expectations for 2022. Like with Smartsheets, Teladoc is another one that I’m tempted to try to add a little bit to my holdings, especially at today’s prices, but am not in a rush to sell much of anything else right now. We’ll see if that changes as more earnings reports come in over the next month. At the end of the day, there are just too many long term trends at play here for me not to want to have skin in the game. Competition will be something we need to follow closely as traditional big medical providers expand their own telehealth services. But I can’t see myself wanting to own a business in this field that isn’t a pure play tele like TDOC.

But even if I add a little to it, TDOC is likely to remain one of my smaller sized investments right now, if for no other reason, simply because I do think it’s stock could be relatively stagnant (I hate to use the term “dead money”, but yeah) for the next couple of quarters, while other companies I own, I expect could have much more significant near-term potential for outsized returns over the next couple of quarters as economies reopen and corporate budgets expand in 2021. But like I said, I don’t want to miss it when the wheels start moving, and I think they will, so I don’t mind holding and letting it play out for now.


While there was not much news on Magnite this month (other than the SpotX acquisition closing) or anything new I can add that I haven’t said in the past, I did like this quick blurb from Laura Martin at Needham this week, who previously named MGNI her top stock big for the next year back when the price was in the teens in Q4, so I thought I’d share it here:…

Looking ahead, Martin sees the SpotX acquisition as the key here, writing, “Together MGNI + SpotX will represent the largest CTV and video ad platform (SSP) in programmatic. 67% of PF revs will be video revs (about half from CTV). By implication, MGNI will always be in the consideration set of SSPs for publishers that have video or CTV ad units to sell. Since digital markets are generally ‘winner take most’ markets, size begets size owing to data superiority. As data improves with scale, this creates a positive flywheel which puts smaller competitors at accelerating AI and data disadvantages.”

the article also talks about TTD a bit, for anyone that is interested.


So that’s it, a relatively slow month. The calm before the storm. I think a lot of my companies are well positioned to really do well over the next couple of quarters, so I’m excited to see how Q1 played out and where they are guiding for Q2.