Web Health Stocks: Not Too Healthy Themselves


WebMD (NASDAQ:WBMD) and NutriSystem Inc (NASDAQ:NTRI) have one thing in common. They are online companies providing health related products/ services. While these company’s help keep you healthy, we at Amigobulls recommend a check of their financial health. The companies have seen phenomenal stock gains with WebMD shares soaring about 200% in the last one year and NutriSystem shareholders gaining 157% over the same period (as of Nov 15th closing price). Yes we do agree the numbers are huge and many investors will be smiling from the returns they have got. However, having made the right decision to buy these stocks, investors must make the important decision of deciding when to sell them or else, the profits will remain just book profits.

So what has changed at these two companies, which has resulted in super normal returns from WebMD stock and Nutrisystem stock? We take a look at the valuation numbers and fundamentals of the two companies.

WebMD stock NutriSystem stock
1 year revenue growth (in %) 2.86 -12.60
1 year net income growth (in %) -136 -2.78
1 year stock price change (in %) 199 158
Price to sales ratio (LTM PS ratio) 4 2
Price earnings ratio (LTM PE ratio) NA 647
PE ratio annualized 168 485

WebMD Stock

WebMD health Corp has had a one year revenue growth of 2.86% accompanied by a huge fall of 136% in the Net Income. WebMD Q4 2013 revenue guidance as stated by the management to be in excess of $142 million represents a 7% YoY growth in the quarterly revenues. The Net Income guidance of $7.7 million represents a $ 13 million increase from Q4 2012.

While the fundamental performance was far less than attractive, the current valuation multiples of the company make the WebMD stock price seem more like a house of cards. The company enjoys an LTM price to sales ratio of 4 and an annualized P/E ratio of 168.

NutriSystem Stock

NutriSystem did not fare any better as far as the topline and bottom line are concerned. NutriSystem revenues had a one year fall of 12.6% while the Net Income fell by 2.78% over the same period. The company management announced that Q4 2013 revenues will see a Y/Y growth in mid-single digits, a number which isn't as eye popping as the stock gains.

The valuation multiples of NutriSystem have been far from attractive with the NTRI stock currently trading at a LTM price to sales ratio of 2 and a LTM price earnings ratio in excess of 600.


The current valuation multiples of the two companies are super-premium. The super-premium levels of the current stock price combined with the weak fundamentals make the two stocks an insane gamble and not just an extremely risky bet. We at Amigobulls would be far more comfortable going short on the two stocks rather than trying to benefit from any further upside as the stocks have a huge downside risk fundamentally. As an investor this might be the right time to book profits and count the gains which you have had, as the gains from these two stocks have been gambles which came off rather than investments which paid off.

To view the latest stock price movements check WebMD stock price chart and NutriSystem stock chart.

Virendra Singh Chauhan Virendra Singh Chauhan   on Amigobulls :

Neither Amigobulls, nor any members of its staff hold positions in any of the stocks discussed in this post. The author may not be a certified/registered investment advisor, and the opinions expressed should not be treated as investment advice.

Buying and selling of securities carries the risk of monetary losses.Readers/Viewers are advised to carry out their own due diligence and consult their investment advisors before making any investment decisions.

Neither Amigobulls, nor the author have any business relationship with any of the companies covered in this post.

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