What happened

Shares of Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) were up 14.5% at 1:00 p.m. EDT following first-quarter revenue that was better than industry watchers' forecasts.

So what

Growing global use of Align Technology's Invisalign clear dental aligners has made this a top-performing stock over the past three years, and first-quarter results show that demand remains strong.

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In Q1, revenue grew 30%, to $310.3 million, when compared to a year ago. Diluted earnings per share in the quarter clocked in at $0.85, up from $0.50 last year. First-quarter sales were 5.8% higher than they were in the fourth quarter, a good sign given competition from 3M and Dentsply Sirona.

The strong top- and bottom-line results came thanks to a 27% and 9.5% increase in case shipments versus last year and last quarter, respectively. International case shipments were particularly strong, up 41% year over year. 

Now what

Align Technology is forecasting that a 25% to 27% increase in case shipments in Q2 will translate into revenue of between $340 million to $345 million, up 26% to 28% from the same period last year. It also expects to deliver diluted EPS of between $0.71 to $0.74 in the quarter.

Overall, this is yet another solid quarterly result from the company, and although there are ongoing patent challenges and competitors attempting to derail it, I think Align Technology will remain a stock investors will want to own in the coming years.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.