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Align Technology (ALGN) Q3 Earnings Top Estimates, Margins Up

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Align Technology, Inc.’s (ALGN - Free Report) third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.87 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.9% and improved 27.6% year over year.

GAAP EPS for the quarter was $2.28 compared with the year-ago EPS of $1.76, reflecting a 29.5% improvement.


Revenues surged 38.4% year over year to a record $1.02 billion in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7%.

Continued momentum in Invisalign Clear Aligners and iTero scanners sales volumes during the fiscal third quarter drove the top line.

Segments in Detail

In the third quarter, revenues at the Clear Aligner segment rose 34.9% year over year to $837.6 million with strong revenue growth across all regions and the portfolio, including comprehensive and non-comprehensive products as well as Invisalign Moderate and Invisalign Go. Within the segment, Invisalign case shipments amounted to 655,150, up 32.1% year over year.

During the quarter, Clear Aligner volumes rose 36.4% and 27% year over year in the Americas and International regions, respectively.

Clear Aligner volume for teenage patients was 206,000 cases, up 26.6% year over year, representing one-third of total cases shipped, with strong shipment growth from North American orthodontists and a record quarter for Teen in APAC.

Align Technology, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Revenues from Imaging Systems & CAD/CAM Services surged 57.3% to $178.3 million in the quarter due to product mix, and increased services revenues from the company’s larger installed base and exocad's CAD/CAM services. Sequentially, the company’s revenues recorded an uptick of 5%. The company continues to gain traction for iTero Element 5D Plus imaging system across all regions, with the most recent launch in Japan in the third quarter.


Gross profit in the third quarter was $755.2 million, reflecting an improvement of 41.4% year over year. Gross margin in the quarter under review expanded 158 basis points (bps) year over year to 74.3% despite a 30.3% uptick in cost of net revenues.

During the quarter, Align Technology witnessed a 37% year-over-year increase in selling, general and administrative expenses to $428.2 million and a 47.3% rise in research and development expenses to $65.6 million.

During the reported quarter, operating income rose 47.6% year over year to $261.4 million. Operating margin expanded 161 bps to 25.7%.

Financial Details

Align Technology exited the third quarter of 2021 with cash, cash equivalents of $1.24 billion compared with $1.09 million at the end of the second quarter.

Cumulative net cash provided by operating activities at the end of the third quarter of 2021 was $899.7 million compared with $280.8 million a year ago.

Under the $1-billion repurchase program announced in May 2021, the company has $825 million remaining available for the repurchase of common stock.

2021 Guidance

Align Technology, on the back of its impressive performance, has raised its financial outlook for 2021.

The company now expects revenues for the year in the range of $3.90 billion to $3.95 billion, suggesting a rise of 58-60% from 2020. The previous guided range was $3.85-$3.90 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $3.91 billion.

The company expects revenue growth in the second half of 2021 at the high end of its long-term operating model target of 20% to 30%.

Our Take

Align Technology exited the third quarter of fiscal 2021 with better-than-expected results despite the challenging business environment. The company reported solid revenue growth in the quarter under review, reflecting continued adoption of iTero scanners and increased utilization of Invisalign Clear Aligners in the Americas and APAC regions as well as growth in the Teen segment, especially in the North American orthodontics channel. Continued adoption of the company’s digital platform has also been looking impressive. The company is witnessing strong growth in iTero business across all regions with the continued adoption of the iTero Element 5D Plus Series of next-generation scanners and imaging systems. Impressive international performance across geographies and increased shipment volumes buoy optimism on the stock. The company has raised its full-year 2021 outlook, which is indicative of the continuation of this bullish trend.

However, the pandemic-led continued choppy market conditions remain a concern for the company. Foreign exchange impacts, overdependence on Invisalign and tough competition persist.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Align Technology currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that have announced quarterly results are Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX - Free Report) , Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) and HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA - Free Report) .

Quest Diagnostics, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $3.96, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 33.8%. Third-quarter revenues of $2.77 billion outpaced the consensus mark by 12.6%.

Abbott reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $1.40, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 52.2%. Revenues of $10.93 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15.3%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

HCA Healthcare, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $4.57, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.5%. Revenues of $15.28 billion surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.7%.