Align Technology (NASDAQ: ALGN) and Atrion (NASDAQ:ATRI) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, risk, dividends, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Atrion pays an annual dividend of $4.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Align Technology does not pay a dividend. Atrion pays out 26.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Atrion has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Align Technology and Atrion’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Align Technology $1.08 billion 19.19 $189.68 million $3.30 78.31
Atrion $143.49 million 7.53 $27.58 million $18.05 32.37

Align Technology has higher revenue and earnings than Atrion. Atrion is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Align Technology, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Align Technology and Atrion, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Align Technology 0 1 10 0 2.91
Atrion 0 0 0 0 N/A

Align Technology currently has a consensus price target of $237.64, indicating a potential downside of 8.05%. Given Align Technology’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Align Technology is more favorable than Atrion.

Profitability

This table compares Align Technology and Atrion’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Align Technology 19.98% 25.60% 18.04%
Atrion 22.98% 18.34% 16.33%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

82.9% of Align Technology shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.0% of Atrion shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.6% of Align Technology shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 23.1% of Atrion shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Align Technology has a beta of 1.43, indicating that its stock price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Atrion has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its stock price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Align Technology beats Atrion on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Align Technology Company Profile

Align Technology, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets a system of clear aligner therapy, intra-oral scanners and computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) digital services used in dentistry, orthodontics and dental records storage. The Company operates through two segments: Clear Aligner segment and Scanner and Services (Scanner) segment. The Clear Aligner segment consists of its Invisalign System, which includes Invisalign Full, Teen and Assist (Comprehensive Products), Express/Lite (Non-Comprehensive Products) and Vivera Retainers, along with its training and ancillary products for treating malocclusion (Non-Case). The Scanner segment consists of intra-oral scanning systems and other services available with the intra-oral scanners that provide digital alternatives to the traditional cast models. The Scanner segment includes its iTero scanner and OrthoCAD services.

Atrion Company Profile

Atrion Corporation (Atrion) is engaged in developing and manufacturing products, primarily for medical applications. The Company’s medical products range from fluid delivery devices to ophthalmic and cardiovascular products. Its fluid delivery products include valves that promote infection control and needle safety. It has developed a range of valves designed to fill, hold and release controlled amounts of fluids or gasses on demand for use in various intubation, intravenous, catheter and other applications in areas, such as anesthesia and oncology. Its cardiovascular product, MPS2 Myocardial Protection System (MPS2), is the system used in open-heart surgery that delivers fluids and medications, mixes critical drugs and controls temperature, pressure and other variables. The Company manufactures specialized medical devices that disinfect contact lenses. Its other medical and non-medical product lines consist of instrumentation and associated disposables.

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