A Special Note from Michael: The Digital space is more important to our society now than it ever has been before, and I expect that this unstoppable trend is only going to get stronger with the creation of the metaverse, a new way of interacting with the internet as if it were a physical place. I have two companies and a cryptocurrency to cash in on this transformation, and you can see exactly what I mean right here.
Despite a global rise in variants of Covid 19, one of last year’s hottest plays on the pandemic shutdowns is getting absolutely slaughtered this year.
I’m talking about the firm that scorched the market because it was a key enabler of folks working from home with some 300 million video chats a day at the peak.
No wonder shares of Zoom Video Communications Inc. soared a stunning 396% last year.
This year, however, the stock is down nearly 44% compared with the S&P 500’s 25% gain.
By contrast, a stock that was flying under the radar despite having a Covid hook and that I told you about nearly a year ago has gone on a tear, rising some 54% so far this year.
The Long-Term Strategy
Now then, just so you don’t think I’m gilding the lily here, the stock I have in mind did have a strong Covid hook when we last talked about it.
At the time, it had a medical device that was a godsend for many Covid 19 patients.
See, obesity is a huge factor in deaths from this novel virus. And many of those afflicted individuals also suffer from diabetes and need inpatient monitoring beyond that especially for Covid.
But as I made clear at the time, that was a short “bonus” for the stock, meaning the company faced plenty of upside just from its bread-and-butter operations.
And that’s a good thing. As I view it, temporary catalysts can boost your short-term returns.
But since I believe in investing for the long haul, I’m always on the lookout for a stock that has a solid track record of increasing sales and profits.
We sure have that in hand with shares of DexCom Inc. (DXCM), a leader in the medical device field with a focus on continuous glucose monitors (CGM) used in the treatment of diabetes.
These automatic, wireless blood sugar meters improve care for patients while also protecting hospital staff from possible Covid infection, and conserving still-rare protective gear.
But when we last spoke about Dexcom last December, it was about the company’s Covid-19 testing. The fact is, the heart of DexCom’s franchise is diabetes.
And like it or not, the market for that is huge. Grand View Research puts the world’s diabetes medical device market at a whopping $25.9 billion.
No wonder. See, traditional glucose tests involve pricking a patient’s finger, and measuring the levels of blood sugar in their blood.
Cheap and simple, but it comes with a lot of downsides. First, that method can only show what the patient’s blood sugar levels were at the time the test was taken.
But blood sugar levels can move quickly in sick patients. Everyone with diabetes needs consistent blood sugar monitoring, but for those who are also hospitalized, the need is even greater.
That means having to send someone in every few minutes to draw blood, again and again.
Second, these pinprick tests have to be done manually, by a nurse or phlebotomist, at the patient’s bedside. In the era of Covid, that’s a huge problem. It means exposing hospital staff to potential Covid infection.
If you can even find staff – many hospitals are suffering from huge nurse and technician shortages after almost two years of Covid.
Dexcom solves both problems with its automatic GCMs, which take continuous blood sugar readings and send them wirelessly to the nursing station.
All of this makes these GCMs indispensable for the many hospitals across the country now packed with Covid-positive patients.
It protects staff, saves on protective gear, and improves care for patients.
Now, GCMs have not been approved by the FDA for inpatient use.
But because of the technology’s advantages during the Covid emergency, the FDA has allowed hospitals to use them for now.
Not only are hospitals loving it, as shown by the company’s revenues growing by over 20% for the last four quarters.
But the data coming from hospitals using DexCom’s devices show that the company’s GCMs are saving people’s lives, while at the same time helping hospitals and staff, too.
There’s much more going on here than blood-sugar monitoring for Covid patients.
Founded in 1999 and based in San Diego, DexCom has gone global. Right now, it treats patients that are on intensive insulin therapy in 47 countries. In the U.S. and Europe alone that accounts for six million people.
Dexcom is hardly resting on its laurels. It’s working on new products targeted at treating people with earlier-stage diabetes, a market consisting of 60 million people.
And over the next two years, DexCom plans to deliver $2 billion to $2.5 billion in sales. The firm is aiming for profit margins of 25%, suggesting adjusted earnings of at least $500 million.
So, it’s no wonder the stock is up 62% since I last recommended it on December 11.
But don’t worry. There’s still lots of upside ahead. In fact, the company recently beat forecasts for its sales and earnings.
Earnings per share came in almost 40% higher than analysts were expecting, and sales were up 30%.
With that in mind, I’m projecting average per-share earnings growth of 32% starting next year.
At that rate, per-share earnings will double in just over two years, with a strong chance of taking stock price with them.
In short, DexCom is a powerful tech stock to own for the long haul, regardless of what curveball Covid throws our way.
Cheers and good investing,
Michael A. Robinson