Fewer dentist visits hit Invisalign maker Align last year. Here’s why the stock is rallying now.



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Shares of Align Technology Inc. jumped after hours Wednesday on an upbeat sales outlook, following an uptick in revenue for the company’s Invisalign teeth-alignment system.

The company made that forecast after it expressed concerns about demand last year, after fewer patients went to the dentist and higher prices for basic essentials left them with less money to spend elsewhere. They also follow rival SmileDirectClub’s announcement last month that it was closing up shop.

Align said it expected first-quarter sales of $960 million to $980 million, above the FactSet consensus forecast for $947 million. For the full year, the company expected sales to be “up mid-single digits” year over year, compared with FactSet expectations for around 4% growth.

Shares jumped 10.3% after hours.

Invisalign treatment involves a visit to the doctor, a 3-D scan of the patient’s teeth, and clear aligners to help straighten them out. Align sells most of its products to orthodontists and dental labs, according to its annual report.

For its fourth quarter, Align reported $956.7 million in sales, up 6.1% year over year and above Wall Street’s expectations for $934 million.

The company reported net income of $124 million, or $1.64 a share, up from $41.8 million, or $1.73 a share, in the same quarter that ended in 2022. Adjusted earnings per share were $2.42 for the quarter, above the consensus estimate of $2.18.

In a statement on Wednesday, Align Chief Executive Joe Hogan said the fourth-quarter results reflected greater Invisalign demand for adults and teens, and growth in Canada and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Sales for the company’s clear teeth aligners were $781.9 million, up 6.9% year over year. However, shipments for those aligners during the quarter fell 0.6%.

In October, when Align Technology reported third-quarter results, Hogan had said that demand was lower than expected.

“Dental practices and industry research firms have reported deteriorating trends, including decreased patient visits and increased patient appointment cancellations, along with fewer orthodontic case starts overall, especially among adult patients,” he said then.

The company on Wednesday also unveiled a new scanner that it said could more quickly and accurately capture the contours of the inside of someone’s mouth.

Shares of Align are down 5.4% over the past 12 months.



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