CLOV Inventory: Clover Well being Shares Harbor Extra Weeds Than Daisies

I’ve at all times questioned about why the memesters determined they preferred Clover Well being (NASDAQ:CLOV) inventory.

CLOV stock: stethoscope laying atop medical papers

Supply: Shutterstock

Possibly it was the quick squeeze, which got here after Hindenburg Analysis issued a February report calling the business broken.

Possibly it was Chamath Palihapitiya, whom I’ve likened to Prof. Harold Hill of The Music Man. (Full disclosure: I memorized the Rock Island song at age 3, then deserted goals of a profession in rap.)

Possibly they had been simply sticking it to “the person.” The person, on this case, being one capable of learn a steadiness sheet.

No matter, it’s been innocent enjoyable. Should you purchased CLOV inventory after I dissed it in April and offered when the Reddit crowd despatched it to $22 on June 8, you’re in clover. However except you’re employed at a buying and selling desk, I doubt you probably did that.

Inside CLOV Inventory

Clover Well being is an effort to promote seniors Medicare complement plans utilizing the web. It competes with firms like Centene (NYSE:CNC), Humana (NYSE:HUM) and United Healthcare (NYSE:UNH), who promote the identical insurance policies in additional standard methods.

The important thing metrics are order move and premiums earned. Clover earned about $200 million in premiums in the course of the first quarter of 2021. It additionally paid out $214 million in losses, claims and reserves. (Ooops.) Shares rose briefly after the corporate reported second-quarter results on Aug. 11. Income for the interval was $412.5 million, a 140% year-over-year hike. The corporate additionally posted a internet lack of  $317.6 million.

For this there’s a market cap of $3.45 billion, as of Aug. 18? This when Humana, which is worthwhile, has a market cap of $52 billion on income of $77 billion?

CEO Vivek Garipalli acquired very loud early this month about including grocery supply via Walmart (NYSE:WMT) to his benefits . The issue is that Humana already had such a profit. Talking of Walmart, Clover is ending a co-branding arrangement it had with the retailer in Georgia. As a substitute it’s touting entry into “101 new markets.” By markets, nonetheless, learn counties. Clover presently sells its plan in simply 9 states, and the growth principally covers simply 5 of them.

Inside Daisy Clover

There are bulls who take a look at Clover’s weeds and see daisies. Clover will get a 3 star high quality score from Medicare. However that might rise if adjustments it helps are made to the scores system. Clover is utilizing Medicare’s new risk-sharing mannequin, which opens new docs to prospects. The corporate has additionally begun providing a house care software for seniors who can’t get to the physician.

It’s Clover’s on-line instruments, like Clover Assistant for healthcare suppliers, which have the bulls excited. However Clover’s rivals even have computer systems. In addition they have scale to press clinics and docs on reimbursement charges. Even when cloud-based instruments outperform scaled methods, it’s going to take years to show the case.

The hype over Clover means plenty of its inventory is being held by speculators. Which means there’s plenty of motion within the identify based mostly on rank speculation. This consists of nameless statements from claimed Medicare brokers, or fan mail from traders who say they put 70% of their financial savings into it.

The Backside Line

For the reason that June pump on Reddit, the shares have been dumped steadily. At its July 30 worth of about $8.18/share, it’s again in a buying and selling vary it held, for probably the most half, since March. This adopted a gradual fall in Clover’s worth from January, when it stopped buying and selling as Chamath’s IPOB and commenced buying and selling by itself, as CLOV.

Clover claims to be a “data-driven” healthcare provider, however each well being insurer is data-driven. If there have been a “secret sauce” right here that may energy it previous opponents, considered one of them would purchase it. You’ll be able to anticipate that wonderful day if you would like. I believe it’s higher to maneuver on.

On the date of publication, Dana Blankenhorn didn’t have (both instantly or not directly) any positions within the securities talked about on this article. The opinions expressed on this article are these of the author, topic to the Publishing Guidelines.

Dana Blankenhorn has been a monetary and know-how journalist since 1978. He’s the writer of Living With Moore’s Law: Past, Present and Future, now obtainable on the Amazon Kindle retailer. Write him at or tweet him at @danablankenhorn. He writes a Substack e-newsletter, Facing the Future, which covers know-how, markets, and politics.