Livongo stock jumps over 10 percent on revised earnings guidance, pointing to digital health boom

Livongo Health’s stock jumped over ten percent on a day that saw most exchanges tumble after a day of crazy volatility.

The digital diagnostics and therapeutics company is benefiting from booming demand for digital health services as remote medicine takes center stage for beleaguered health care providers looking to keep treating patients while also responding to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Livongo, a provider of behavioral management treatments and diagnostic tools for chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, weight management, and mental health, sits squarely in the center of current medical needs.

The company announced a revised preliminary guidance for its first quarter 2020 revenue to be in the range of $65.5 million to $66.5 million versus prior guidance of $60 million to $62 million according to the company.

The better-than-expected results sent the stock surging in trading on Tuesday, jumping $3.07 per share to close at $33.16, a better than ten percent gain even as the major indices fell in late trading.

“We began 2020 well positioned to pursue our mission of empowering people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives, and now more than ever, our efforts are necessary to support our Members and Clients through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Zane Burke, Livongo’s chief executive, in a statement.

“Our record Client launches of over 620 in the first quarter and Member enrollment are ahead of expectations and we continue to see strong demand in our pipeline. Livongo is in the unique position of providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable populations, people with chronic conditions, and according to last week’s CDC report, 78 percent of people who were admitted to the intensive care unit due to COVID-19 had at least one pre-existing health condition.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in late December, digital health startups have seen demand soar. Everything from telemedicine consultations to digital diagnostics and remote monitoring and triaging of health conditions has seen record growth.

Livongo is an early, public, beneficiary of a trend that’s playing out in private startups as well. That’s reflected in recent rounds for telemedical startups like K Health, which raised $48 million in a Series C round. Or in the financing for the Seattle-based startup 98point6, which raised $43 million in a Series D funding round.

“Virtual care plays an important part in enabling social distancing to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Brad Younggren, MD, chief medical officer of 98point6, in a statement. 

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