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Align Technology (ALGN) Grows on InvisAlign System Strength

Align Technology, Inc. ALGN recently achieved a milestone of five million patients undergoing treatment with its flagship clear aligner system — InvisAlign.

Taking into consideration the fast-expanding market for clear aligner therapy, Align Technology has undertaken several strategies to drive the adoption of its core InvisAlign product line. These strategies include product/technology development, extending clinical effectiveness, promoting the InvisAlign brand name and boosting international growth.

In terms of product development, in May, the company announced the receipt of two U.S. patents for Align Technology’s SmartTrack aligner material that is exclusively used for InvisAlign aligner treatment. Moreover, in a bid to gain traction in the InvisAlign platform, Align Technology collaborated with Digital Smile Design in March. Post-collaboration, Align Technology’s Invisalign clear aligner treatment can be used by dentists during tooth alignment procedures along with Smile Design protocols.

Meanwhile, in order to expand its Invisalign brand offerings, Align Technology introduced a patient-friendly solution — Invisalign Teen with mandibular advancement — for teens in certain markets of Canada, EMEA and APAC in March. In the second quarter of 2017, the company reached a milestone of 1 million teen patients who had adopted the treatment. This is indicative of the growing popularity of Align Technology’s dental products in the international market. Over the long term, we expect G6, G7 and similar innovation to act as major catalysts for Align Technology in new as well as existing markets.

Coming to geographic expansion, the company opened its first office in Canada — a major market in terms of opportunity for expansion and growth. Meanwhile, management launched InvisAlign Technology Lite in North America post its introduction in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The company witnessed strong adoption, particularly among GP dentists.

Moreover, Align Technology has been witnessing continued adoption of InvisAlign Technology in core markets in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. Interestingly, in the recently reported third quarter, the company achieved another milestone in terms of InvisAlign therapy adoption, where China became the second largest market globally with United States topping the numbers. Align Technology registered almost a threefold year-over-year increase in its asset customer base, with major contributions from China. Also, in a bid to expand in the region, the company opened a InvisAlign Treatment Planning Facility in China in June.

We are also upbeat about the company’s expanding foothold internationally through the acquisition of Invisalign distributors in the lucrative EMEA region as well as in Brazil in February.

Per a report by Technavio, the global invisible orthodontics market is expected to witness a CAGR of approximately 13% between 2016 and 20120. Given the market potential and Align Technology’s consistent efforts, we believe the company is well positioned to cash in on the bountiful opportunities in the market.

Share Price Performance

Over the past month, Align Technology has been trading above the broader industry. As per the latest share price movement, the company has gained 11.4% compared with the 3.4% gain of the broader industry.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Align Technology currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are PetMed Express, Inc. PETS, Myriad Genetics, Inc. MYGN and Luminex Corporation LMNX. While PetMed and Myriad sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Luminex carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

PetMed has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 10%. The stock has rallied roughly 76.9% in a year.

Myriad Genetics has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15%. The stock has gained 9% over the last three months.

Luminex has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 16.3%. The stock has rallied 14.9% over the last three months.

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