Why Align Technology Inc. Shares Soared

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: Shares of teeth-straightening specialist Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN  ) surged 26% today after its quarterly results and outlook topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has soared in 2013 on strong sales of its Invisalign braces, and today's third-quarter results -- earnings of $34.5 million on a revenue surge of 21% -- coupled with upbeat fourth-quarter guidance suggests that the momentum isn't slowing. In fact, Invisalign shipments for the quarter climbed 15% while gross margins increased 250 basis points, giving investors plenty of good vibes over its competitive position going forward.

Now what: Management now sees fourth-quarter EPS of $0.41-$0.43 on revenue of $169.1 million-$173.1 million, well above Wall Street's view at $0.36 and $164.3 million, respectively.

"We continue to deliver solid execution of our long-term strategic plan and expect to continue those key initiatives, which are at the core of our progress," CEO Thomas Prescott said in a conference call. "Our results also reflect stable patient traffic in our customers' offices and their willingness to let us become a more significant part of their practices."

Of course, with the shares soaring to a new 52-week high today and trading at a 35-plus forward P/E, I'd wait for some of the excitement to fade before buying into that bullishness.

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