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Why Is Behavioral Health-Focused LifeStance Health Stock Trading Higher Thursday?

Vandana Singh
February 28, 2024

Wednesday, LifeStance Health Group Inc (NASDAQ:LFST) reported fourth-quarter 2023 revenue of $280.60 million, up 22% Y/Y, beating the consensus of $263 million.

Strong revenue growth in the fourth quarter was driven primarily by net clinician growth, increased visit volumes, and total revenue per visit improvements.

The clinician base expanded by 18%, reaching 6,645 clinicians, with an addition of 227 clinicians in the fourth quarter and 1,014 for the full year.

Fourth quarter visit volumes increased by 20% to 1.8 million, contributing to a full-year visit volume increase of 20% to 6.9 million.

The net loss for the fourth quarter amounted to $45.0 million, primarily attributable to stock-based compensation and the settlement of a shareholder class action lawsuit. The full-year net loss stood at $186.3 million.

Despite the net loss, Adjusted EBITDA showed positive results, reaching $20.3 million in the fourth quarter and $59.0 million for the full year.

Loss from operations in the fourth quarter was $32.3 million, representing a 30% improvement from the same period in the prior year.

Center Margin experienced significant growth, increasing by 33% to $83.3 million in the fourth quarter.

Guidance: LifeStance expects fiscal year 2024 sales of $1.19 billion to $1.24 billion, versus a consensus of $1.20 billion.

The company sees a 2024 center margin of $345 million to $365 million and an adjusted EBITDA of $80 million to $90 million. Additionally, the company anticipates generating positive Free Cash Flow for the full year.

For the first quarter of 2024, LifeStance expects revenues of $287 million-$307 million, versus a consensus of $298.41 million, with a center margin of $81 million-$93 million and adjusted EBITDA of $17 million-$23 million.

William Blair notes that the recent quarter marks the conclusion of a successful year characterized by the company’s strategic transition and operational investments. 

LifeStance’s “clicks-and-mortar” operating model, providing virtual and in-person behavioral healthcare services, is considered unique and favorably positioned for sustained organic growth in the high-demand behavioral healthcare sector. 

These distinguishing features are seen as undervalued aspects that set LifeStance apart from its industry counterparts, making the company’s stock an attractive long-term investment and leading William Blair to reiterate their Outperform rating.

Price Action: LFST shares are up 31% at $8.78 on the last check Wednesday.

Photo by julia koblitz via Unsplash

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