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SmileDirectClub Shares Surge As Company Expands Business To Dental Professionals, Rival Align Dips

Neer Varshney      1/15/2020 7:26:43 AM

Shares of SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ: SDC) surged as high as 20% Tuesday as it revealed plans to provide its 3D-printed clear aligners to dentists and orthodontists as an in-office option.

What Happened

The teledentistry company used to sell directly to consumers until now, providing a majority of its services online, and worked with a select number of professionals as consultants.

SmileDirectClub said that since its agreement with Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN) expired at the end of 2019, it is no longer under any obligation to stay in the direct-to-consumer channel.

"We have seen increasing demand from the dentists and orthodontists in our network who wish to provide SmileDirectClub clear aligners to their in-office patients," co-founder Alex Fenkell said in a statement.

Chief Clinical Officer Jeffrey Sulitzer said that, of more than 200,000 licensed dentists and orthodontists in the U.S., only an estimated 30% offer clear aligner therapy in-office. 

"We are looking forward to opening our network to providers who wish to join us in our mission to broaden access to premium care at an affordable price."

Align, which competes with SmileDirectClub with its Invisalign clear aligners, was the third-party manufacturer for the company until the two had a fallout over an alleged violation of a non-compete clause by Align.

Price Action

SmileDirectClub's shares closed 14.71% higher at $11.70 on Tuesday. The shares are still trading significantly lower than its IPO price of $23.

Rival Align's shares closed 3.51% lower at $287.61 on the news.