September 18, 2021

HealthEquity – COVID-19 Induced Selloff Buying Opportunity

HealthEquity - COVID-19 Induced Selloff Buying Opportunity

It’s no surprise that HealthEquity (HQY) has been crushed in the face of the COVID-19 market meltdown. COVID-19 caused the fastest and most aggressive selloff in history, with the indices falling ~35% over the course of 23 days. HQY has fallen from its 52-week highs of $89 to a low of $35 or 60% during this market meltdown.

Considering HealthEquity’s unique position as being distinctly disassociated from drug pricing issues, rising insurance costs, or the pharmaceutical supply chain, this selloff is an excellent opportunity for an entry point. As COVID-19 inevitably subsides, HealthEquity is in a strong position and being offered at a substantial discount. For long-term investors, HealthEquity presents a compelling picture of growth with a large addressable market moving forward and further strengthened with its acquisition of WageWorks.

COVID-19 Long-Term Catalyst

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely bring more attention to the Health Savings Account (HSA) space and may drive demand from more companies and consumers alike. The Health Savings account serves as a win-win for companies and consumers as this is an effective way to contain healthcare costs while allowing funds to accumulate for potential future medical expenses. This space has already been under a secular growth trend, and this pandemic may accelerate the growth of these accounts as awareness spreads.

Conversely, in the short-term, HSA funds may be depleted at a faster rate by account holders. Contributions may fall due to the spike in unemployment, and employer matching contributions may be in jeopardy as liquidity comes into question for many companies that have transitioned into survival mode post-COVID-19. However, over the long term, these trends towards consumer-driven healthcare via channeling funds into HSAs.

Unique Moat and Business Model

HealthEquity has a unique business model that serves as an intermediary servicing the secular growth HSA space that’s mostly independent of legislative actions, drug pricing, rising insurance costs while not playing any role in the pharmaceutical supply chain that spans from health insurers to end-user pharmacies. The company simply manages funds allocated for medical, dental, and vision expenses that are deducted on a pre-tax basis and deposited into a dedicated HSA account. The HSA space has grown in popularity as corporate adoption has allowed access to these plans in conjunction with consumer awareness. HealthEquity is an intermediary that connects health and wealth to consumers of healthcare.

Diversifying Revenue Streams

HealthEquity made a bold move to acquire WageWorks for approximately $2 billion in an all-cash deal. This acquisition has expanded HealthEquity’s moat in the HSA space while providing new revenue verticals in complementary product offerings. This move is already expanding HealthEquity’s total addressable market as Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs) via pre-tax spending accounts such as additional Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRA), Commuter Benefit Services, wellness programs, COBRA and other employee benefits are absorbed into its product offerings. This acquisition provides access to a larger client base and access to health brokers that will help drive HealthEquity’s penetration over the long term. The combination of WageWorks’ leading consumer-directed benefits with HealthEquity’s HSA platform is highly synergistic and will drive growth while expanding the total addressable market in years to come (Figure 1).

HealthEquity - COVID-19 Induced Selloff Buying Opportunity
Figure 1 – High-level overview of the newly combined HealthEquity/WageWorks company

HealthEquity’s Q4 2020 Earnings and Unique Positioning

HealthEquity announced its Q4 and full fiscal 2020 earnings, and it was the second full quarter with WageWorks being fully integrated into the company’s financial numbers as the acquisition closed on August 30th, 2019.

Revenue for Q4 was $201.2 million, growing 166% compared to $75.8 million for the fourth quarter ended January 31st, 2018. Revenue this quarter included: service revenue of $122.2 million, custodial revenue of $49.3 million, and interchange revenue of $29.7 million. HSAs now exceed 5.3 million, an increase of 34% year over year, or 15% excluding acquired HSAs. Active HSAs were 4.3 million, up 34% from one year ago, including 220,000 HSAs with investments, an increase of 35% year over year. Total Accounts as of January 31st, 2020, reached 12.8 million, including 7.4 million CDBs, 6.8 million from the WageWorks acquisition. Total HSA Assets as of January 31st, 2020, were $11.5 billion, an increase of 43% year over year, or 22% excluding acquired HSA assets. Total HSA Assets included $8.7 billion of HSA cash and $2.8 billion of HSA investment assets (Figure 2).

HealthEquity - COVID-19 Induced Selloff Buying Opportunity
Figure 2 – Fiscal year earnings metrics


The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to buy shares at a heavy discount. Health Equity has continued its path of accelerating revenue, cash flow, and income growth across all segments of its business in the backdrop of an HSA secular growth market. Its WageWorks acquisition further bolstered this via augmenting its core competencies in the Health Savings Account space while providing access to other revenue verticals in the Consumer Directed-Benefits space. HealthEquity (HQY) is continuing to post strong growth as it expands the number of accounts, manages more custodial assets, expands gross margins, and more accounts transitioning into investment vehicles. HealthEquity is uniquely positioned as HSAs are becoming an invaluable option for consumers to contain medical costs and take control of healthcare spending. Best of all, the company’s business model is such that it stands as an intermediary, servicing the secular growth HSA space that’s largely independent of legislative actions, drug pricing, rising insurance costs while not playing any role in the pharmaceutical supply chain from health insurers to end-user pharmacies. The WageWorks acquisition has expanded HealthEquity’s moat while providing additional long-term revenue sources for durable growth.

Noah Kiedrowski Contributor

Disclosure: The author holds shares in AAL, AAPL, AMC, AMZN, AXP, CMG, DIA, DIS, FB, GOOGL, GS, HQY, IBM, JPM, KSS, MA, MSFT, QQQ, SBUX, SLB, SPY, TRIP, UPS, USO and X. However, he may engage in options trading in any of the underlying securities. The author has no business relationship with any companies mentioned in this article. He is not a professional financial advisor or tax professional. This article reflects his own opinions. This article is not intended to be a recommendation to buy or sell any stock or ETF mentioned. Kiedrowski is an individual investor who analyzes investment strategies and disseminates analyses. Kiedrowski encourages all investors to conduct their own research and due diligence prior to investing. Please feel free to comment and provide feedback, the author values all responses. The author is the founder of where options are a bet on where stocks won’t go, not where they will. Where high probability options trading for consistent income and risk mitigation thrives in both bull and bear markets. For more engaging, short duration options based content, visit stockoptionsdad’s YouTube channel.