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Align Technology-Patterson Dental Deal Expands iTero Reach

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California-based Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN - Free Report) recently signed a distribution agreement with Patterson Dental, a business unit of Patterson Companies, Inc. (PDCO - Free Report) .

Per the non-exclusive agreement, effective September 2017, Align Technology’s iTero Element intraoral scanning system will be available as part of Patterson Dental’s CAD/CAM portfolio in the United States and Canada. Thus, we believe Align Technology’slatest deal will boost the iTero scanner customer base to a considerable extent.

We are also optimistic about the company’s expanding work flow options for its leading iTero scanners. In this context, Align Technology recently launched a software upgrade to its iTero Element intraoral scanner that is capable of comparing patient scans over time with the latest TimeLapse technology.

Also, Align Technology collaborated with exocad GmbH in March, whereby the integrated portfolio will result in high-tech workflow solution for efficient scanning, designing and manufacturing of in-house dental prosthesis. In February, the company announced the addition of digital workflow for Nobel Biocare implants to its iTero intraoral scanner portfolio.

Interestingly, revenues from Scanner and Service improved a substantial 36.7% in the last reported second quarter 2017. Moreover, the company saw increased adoption of iTero scanners for Invisalign case submissions instead of PVS impressions, especially in North America, thereby driving Invisalign utilization. In line with the latest developments in the iTero scanner space, Align Technology’s latest deal buoys optimism.

Per a report by MedGadget, the global market for 3D Dental Scanners is projected to see a CAGR of 10.2% over the 2017-2021 period.

Considering the market potential and Align Technology’s current developments in the scanners and services space, this collaboration seems to be a strategic one.

We believe an unhealthy lifestyle and rising awareness and expenditure in healthcare will continue to drive growth in the 3D Dental scanners market. However, this market is dominated by many well established players, with DENTSPLY SIRONA being a prominent one.

Align Technology has been gaining investor confidence on consistent positive results. Over the past three months, the company’s share price has outperformed the broader industry. The stock has gained 22.3%, as against the broader industry’s 0.9% fall. The company has also outperformed the 1.3% gain of the S&P 500 market over the same time frame.

 

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Align Technology currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked medical stocks are Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (EW - Free Report) and IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX - Free Report) . Edwards Lifesciences sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while IDEXX Laboratories carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Edwards Lifesciences has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.1%. The stock has gained around 20.5% over the last six months.

IDEXX Laboratories has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%. The stock has rallied roughly 7% over the last six months.

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