Align Technology Inc. (ALGN): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

Align Technology ( ALGN) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Align Technology fell 40 cents (-1.2%) to $34.04 on light volume. Throughout the day, 479,797 shares of Align Technology exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.52-$34.52 after having opened the day at $34.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.44. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: SciClone Pharmaceuticals ( SCLN), down 16.3%, Arrowhead Research Corporation ( ARWR), down 14.2%, Bioline Rx Ltd. ADR ( BLRX), down 12.4%, and Senesco Technologies ( SNT), down 11.5%.

Align Technology, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets the invisalign system for treating malocclusion or the misalignment of teeth. Invisalign corrects malocclusion using a series of clear, nearly invisible, removable appliances that gently move teeth to a desired final position. Align Technology has a market cap of $2.82 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.9, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 45.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Align Technology a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Align Technology as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, Alexza Pharmaceuticals ( ALXA), up 38.9%, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals ( PPHM), up 24.9%, Savient Pharmaceuticals ( SVNT), up 19.3%, and Tengion ( TNGN), up 14%, were all gainers within the health care sector with Varian Medical Systems ( VAR) being today's featured health care sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health care sector could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health care sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Health Care ( RXD).
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