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Align Technology: Protected by more factors than any other stock

Align Technology stock price

Because the past few months in the stock market have been a wild emotional roller coaster, most investors are now looking for the most logical and fundamental reasons to justify investing in any sector. Today, new pieces of data are being blasted across your monitor, so it is alright to feel pulled in a thousand directions.

Now that the FED has pivoted into a dovish stance, a complete turn from its interest rate hike pattern undertaken during 2023. For 2024, markets are now expecting up to six rate cuts during the year, which could allow the best stocks in the best sectors to really soar.

Far from being the best sector in the market, who can tell which is the best one? Aside from being known as a staple of stability, the healthcare sector is calling for bullish investors, guiding them toward stocks like Align Technology (NASDAQ: ALGN) for reasons that will become clear in just a bit.

You still need to smile for the pictures

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA: XLV) is the benchmark for investing in the stable space that is health care because, after all, no matter what economic environment you find yourself in, taking care of your health is not something that would ever be taken out of the budget.

So now that money is about to become a bit cheaper, thanks to the lower interest rates that are set to come, budgets at different sectors of the economy are beginning to flourish. It seems that the money is first flowing to hire new talent.

Suppose you break down the latest employment situation reports, which show the United States economy adding up to 199 thousand jobs in the past month. In that case, you will see a good chunk of them entering the health care sector.

How many? Try 76.8 thousand, or 38.6% of total jobs in the economy. There are already stocks that benefitted from this sudden turn in business activity. Just take a brief look at Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and its 42.1% upside based on analyst price targets and its 46.4% projected EPS growth for the next year!

But why is a little company ($16.6 billion) like Align Technology the new focus of investors looking to get into healthcare? By being one of the best and cheapest stocks in the dental industry, its upside potential is just another reason for you to smile.

Sharing one fundamental factor in its stability, no matter how good or bad the economy is, you still need to smile every day. Align stock is here to help millions of people carry on this side of necessary health care.

Stars have aligned

Joseph M. Hogan, the company's CEO, has been buying up stock in the past quarter to the tune of $2 million since October 2023. There must be a reason behind his view turning optimistic, and who else better to know what the future holds than the CEO himself?

The bullish sentiment doesn't stop at the CEO; analysts across Wall Street understand the value of the stability this stock could bring in the coming months. With a consensus price target of $325.6 a share, there is a 20.0% upside from today's prices. 

But wait, there's more; if you look at the dental industry as a whole, mainly where the average forward price-to-earnings ratio is, the market can begin to whisper at you where the next move for a particular stock can be.

You see, the forward P/E is the market's way of slapping a value on what they think the next twelve months of earnings are worth paying for today. And the more 'expensive' these ratios are, the more valuable the future financials seem to the market as a whole.

An average forward P/E of 17.3x acts as a benchmark for the industry and the valuation against which to compare stocks like Align. And when it comes down to it, a 28.9x multiple, which commands a 134.0% premium to the sector, places Align stock right at the top.

By being willing to overpay for this stock, markets are letting you know that something big is expected of the company in the coming months (likely to be shown in the next quarterly financials).

And remember, analyst targets don't do justice to where the stock was earlier in 2023, with a 52-week high price of $412.0 a share.




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