Align Technology Shares Soared: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Teeth-straightening specialist Align Technology (NAS: ALGN) soared 30% on Friday after its third-quarter results and outlook topped analyst expectations.

So what: Align's top and bottom line are trending so much stronger than expected -- adjusted EPS of $0.27 topped Wall Street by $0.08 on 31% sales growth -- that analysts are quickly scrambling to raise their valuation estimates. In fact, management even authorized a stock buyback program of up to $150 million, or about 11% of its market cap, giving investors even more reason to believe that the shares are undervalued.

Now what: For the fourth quarter, management now sees adjusted EPS of $0.20-$0.22 on sales of $124-$128.5 million, while analysts were expecting $0.18 a share on revenue of $122.6 million. Of course, while demand for its invisible braces is once again heating up, so is the competition from the likes of Dentsply (NAS: XRAY) and 3M (NYS: MMM) . Although Align is still the bracket-free leader, today's 30% rally coupled with a now 30-plus P/E suggests that Mr. Market isn't considering enough of the downside.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of 3M. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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