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Bear of the Day: Align Technology (ALGN)

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Align Technology (ALGN - Free Report) is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) that is a medical device company that designs, manufactures, and markets Invisalign clear aligners and iTero intraoral scanners and services. Their products are for orthodontists and general practitioner dentists, and restorative and aesthetic dentistry.

The stock had a great couple years, going from $200 during the COVID panic, to a high of $737 last year. However, 2022 has not been kind, with the stock down about 60% this year.

While market sentiment is one reason the stock is lower, a recent earnings report forced investors to capitulate.

So is now the time to buy? Or is there more pain to come.

About the Company

Align is headquartered in Tempe, AZ. The company employs over 23,000 people and was founded in 1997.

The company has two operating segments, Clear Aligner and CAD/CAM Services. The Clear Aligner segment is over 80% of revenues and deals with the popular Invisalign system. The CAD/CAM Services segment deals with the iTero intra-oral scanners and OrthoCAD services.

ALGN is valued at $21 billion and has a Forward PE of 26. The company holds a Zacks Style Score of “D” in Value and “B” in Growth. The stock does not pay out a dividend.

Q1 Earnings

Align reported EPS back in April, seeing a 5% miss. Revenues came in below expectations, with the company seeing $973M v the $1.00B expected.

The company did affirm its long-term growth target of +20-30%, but operating margins fell from 28.6% last year to 24%. The company is planning on repurchasing shares, but analysts are aggressively lowering estimates.

Estimates

Over the last 60 days, estimates are trending lower for all timeframes.

For the current quarter, estimates have dropped from $3.13 to $2.30, or 26%. For the current year, estimates fell to $10.14 from $12.59, or 19%.

In addition to estimates going lower, analysts dropped price targets after the earnings report. Margins are to blame, which is a common theme in 2022.

Goldman Sachs did maintain a Buy, but lowered their price target from $650 to $380. Stifel also maintained their Buy rating, but lowered targets from $575 to $425.

While those targets are well above the current price, those are big percentage drops. This has put pressure on the stock since EPS and it is currently trading at 2022 lows.

Technical Take

There is really nothing to like when looking at the ALGN chart. The stock is trading below all the moving averages and can’t seem to get back above the $300 level. For now, the stock should be avoided until it can’t get above that area.

For those looking to get a bargain, they should wait for lower prices. The $220 level was the area the stock traded before the 2020 breakout. This might be the spot where buyers step in as the whole post-COVID trade would finally be unwound.   

In Summary

Align is going to be trapped under $300 until market conditions change. The margins pressure will scare investors off and with the PE at 26, the value aspect is not there.

For now, a better medical option might be STAAR Surgical (STAA - Free Report) . The stock is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that is coming off an 81% EPS beat earlier this month.   


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