By Chris Bentson – Partner, Bentson Copple & Associates, LLC

If you aren’t on board with Invisalign in your practice, the seats on the train are filling up, and if the first quarter 2017 results announced today (April 27th) are any indication, this isn’t just an old rusted out locomotive pulling out of the station, it’s a bullet train.

After beating analyst’s expectations in each quarter of 2016, Align started the year with a blowout, announcing their first quarter results earlier today.  Total revenue for the quarter was $310.3M up 30% from year ago with record 206,000 case shipments (see chart below).  In after hours trading, Align’s stock (ALGN), which has been on a torrid run this year, is up 13.25% as I write this at $136.00 per share.

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Compare these results  to what we consider a good orthodontic growth year in 2016 at 4% and you have Invisalign growing at 7x (seven times) the orthodontic market.  Align was up in every category but Itero Element scanners, but that was due to a backlog of record orders shipped in Q4 2016; they still shipped a healthy $27.9M worth of scanners in the first quarter.  In addition,  Align shipped 49,000 teen cases in the first three months of 2017, a 31.6% increase from the first quarter a year ago.   DSO sales are up greater than any segment at a 50% increase from the first quarter a year ago.  In short, sales are off the hook at Align and the outlook for Q2 and the rest of the year is equally bullish; in fact I think Align is sandbagging their forward looking guidance for the rest of the year and look for them to adjust upward after the second quarter results are in.

If you don’t have a seat on this train, jump from the platform into any open door as it goes by.   The “Made To Move” campaign is resonating with consumers with Align reporting 40% higher engagement in digital media versus prior media and followers across Invisalign social channels are up 13% in the first quarter.

We’ve been following the company and seeing the growing use of Invisalign in practices.  None of the bracket companies are holding a candle to the growth Invisalign is showing in the practice data we analyze.

We’re not clinicians, but the business of orthodontics is clearly growing with plastic and jumping on this train and increasing your ability to treat with the product sure appears to be yielding some positive growth for practice owners.   Consumers are saying yes to Invisalign and you don’t want to miss this trip.  The train is indeed pulling away from the station and getting on board could mean greater practice growth for you in 2017.

You want to know where this train is headed… The fully integrated digital orthodontic platform is the final destination!

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