Behind Align Technology’s North American Expectations for 2017
North American markets
In 1Q17, Align Technology’s (ALGN) Invisalign sales volumes in North American markets rose YoY (year-over-year) by 20.3% and QoQ (quarter-over-quarter) by 8.3%. Increasing demand from North American orthodontists and general practitioners was the major driver of volume growth.
In 1Q17, the total utilization of Invisalign globally was 5.4 cases per doctor—higher than in 1Q16, when it was 4.9 cases per doctor. However, Invisalign’s utilization in North American markets in 1Q17 came in at 12.6 cases per doctor, higher than the 10.4 cases per doctor in 1Q16.
As products and technology have evolved, dentists have become increasingly more confident about using Invisalign for more complex cases. The robust rise in demand—especially for teenage patients—could help Invisalign gradually capture market share from metal braces.
Notably, the SPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF (MDY) has about 0.69% of its total portfolio holdings in Align Technology.
To boost revenues, Align Technology has adopted a targeted marketing strategy that focuses on adult females, which has been a historically strong customer segment for the company, as well as on adult males. These efforts have resulted in the solid uptake of Invisalign cases by adult males in North America.
Beyond marketing existing products, Align Technology has been consistently launching new products to compete with Dentsply Sirona (XRAY), Danaher (DHR), and 3M Company (MMM). In 1Q17, the company launched Invisalign Lite in North America, which had previously been introduced in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa).
Similar to the traditional Invisalign system, Invisalign Lite is made up of 14 stages of aligners and is used to treat less complex cases. Invisalign Lite manages to reduce treatment time for patients.
Now let’s discuss how dental service organizations are fueling the growing demand for Invisalign in North America.