How TikTok Could Help This Healthcare Stock Take Off – The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.
Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.
You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More
Consumers and retail investors have more power than ever before to move companies’ share prices. Viral videos and chatter on internet forums can quickly generate excitement (or derision) around a business and its products and services. The meme stock hype period that took off in early 2021 was a good example of that — an array of speculative stocks soared in ways that had little connection to the businesses’ fundamentals.
One healthcare business investors will want to keep an eye on this year is Novo Nordisk (NVO 0.17%). Although it’s not a meme stock, its valuation could skyrocket in 2023 — and it could have TikTok to thank for that.
Social media has the power to supercharge demand for a product or service. Influencers can sway their followers, and if they hype something up, it can help a business generate impressive revenue growth.
That’s the situation with Novo Nordisk’s weight loss treatment, Wegovy. It has become so popular that supplies are scarce, and some patients have been turning to Ozempic, which is only approved for Type 2 diabetes, as an alternative. Consumers have been after both treatments, however, because of their ability to help people shed pounds.
On TikTok, videos tagged with #wegovy have amassed more than 137 million views thus far. Those with the #ozempic tag have even more at around 377 million, and many of those videos include people documenting their weight-loss efforts. While TikTok isn’t the only platform where interest in Wegovy and Ozempic is taking off, with an estimated 1.8 billion users as of the end of 2022 (up from 1.2 billion a year earlier), it has been one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there.
All that excitement is both a blessing and a curse for Novo Nordisk, however. It’s struggling to meet the demand for its treatments, leaving patients frustrated.
The good news is that Novo Nordisk increased its production capacity for Wegovy, and management is confident that it will be sufficient to fulfill orders. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Wegovy for chronic weight management in June 2021, so it’s still fairly new to the marketplace.
During the first nine months of 2022, sales for Wegovy came in at 3.7 billion Danish krone ($536 million) — six times higher than in the prior-year period. Ozempic, which the FDA approved in 2017 for Type 2 diabetes, brought in sales of 42.8 billion Danish krone ($6.1 billion) during the same period — up 86% year over year.
To put that into perspective, consider that Ozempic’s sales growth rate a year ago was only 53%. While that was certainly strong, all the social media attention has clearly ramped up demand for the product. If production of Wegovy increases sufficiently to meet demand, that should slow Ozempic’s sales growth rate down and also ensure that people with diabetes aren’t struggling to obtain the treatment.
Share prices of Novo Nordisk rose 21% in 2022 as the company’s strong results and the popularity of its products helped the healthcare stock handily beat the bear market. But at a multiple of 40 times earnings, the stock is trading at a premium right now — the S&P 500‘s average price-to-earnings ratio is just 18. However, given the growth potential for Wegovy and some stronger results for the business thanks to its effectiveness, Novo Nordisk may still be a good buy at its current valuation as its sales and profit numbers should improve further in the years ahead.
If the company can ramp up the supply of Wegovy such that it is able to fully meet demand, 2023 could be another strong year for the stock, as there could be even more excitement around the company’s products. And with a profit margin of 32%, there’s much more to Novo Nordisk than hype. This is a sound business for investors to hold in their portfolios for the long haul.
David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Novo Nordisk A/s. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.
Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool’s premium services.
Making the world smarter, happier, and richer.

Market data powered by Xignite.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *