How GLP-1s tanked and reshaped the medtech stock market in 2023

Analysts weigh in on how the GLP-1 craze caused one of the biggest swings in the medtech stock market in recent years.

[Image courtesy of Nick Chong on Unsplash]In a tumultuous year for the medtech industry, promising clinical trial results on glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists (GLP-1s) created a seismic shift in the medtech stock market, triggering one of the largest dips in market value that analysts have seen in years.

While analysts said the medtech stock market performed well in 2023 – driven by strong market growth from the backlog of procedures that built up during the pandemic and more innovation and new product launches from companies – the fear of GLP-1s prevailed among investors, sending medtech stocks down significantly in the second half of the year, even as top executives sought to allay concerns.

The specter of GLP-1s such as Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Ozempic loomed large, casting doubt on medtech’s future trajectory at the end of the year. However, the stocks have almost fully recovered since then. Analysts predict a rebound in 2024, with diminishing head…

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How does medtech CEO compensation compare?

[Image from Unsplash]Medtech CEO compensation averaged $10.5 million during the companies’ most recent fiscal years.

That number from our recent MassDevice analysis may seem like a lot to an average person — but not as much in the world of corporate CEOs.

In fact, the average compensation of S&P 500 company CEOs was $25.2 million in 2022, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonprofit research institute that studies the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the U.S.

Geoff Martha, who, as CEO of Medtronic, runs the world’s largest medical device company, saw a total compensation of $15.4 million. But look over at the pharmaceutical industry, where revenue numbers are much higher, and the head of the world’s largest pharma company — Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla — brought in $33 million.

As businesses mature into publicly traded companies and revenue grows, it makes sense for CEO compensation to become larger.

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Align Technology acquires 3D printing company Cubicure

Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) announced that it completed the acquisition of 3D printing company Cubicure.

Cubicure offers 3D printing solutions for polymer additive manufacturing. It develops, produces and distributes innovative materials, equipment and processes for novel 3D printing solutions.

Tempe, Arizona-based Align plans for the acquisition to support and scale its strategic innovation roadmap and strengthen its Align Digital Platform. It also extends and scales Align’s printing, materials and manufacturing capabilities for its 3D-printed product portfolio. That portfolio includes the recently FDA-cleared Palatal Expander system.

Cubicure offers patented hot lithography that uses a special heating and coating mechanism. It enables the processing of highly viscous resins to produce tough, temperature-resistant polymers. Srini Kaza, Align SVP for product R&D, said in a news release that the company has worked with Cubicure “for yea…

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Align Technology wins FDA nod for Invisalign palatal expander system

The Invisalign palatal expander. [Image courtesy of Align Technology]Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) announced today that the FDA granted 510(k) clearance for its Invisalign palatal expander system.

The direct 3D-printed device provides rapid expansion and subsequent holding of skeletal and/or dental narrow maxilla (upper jaw). It enables primary, mixed or permanent dentition during the treatment of growing patients.

FDA clearance covers broad patient applicability, including growing children, teens and adults (with surgery or other techniques).

Align Technology unveiled the technology at its September Investor Day event. The palatal expander — Align’s first direct 3D-printed orthodontic device —  provides a safe, comfortable and clinically effective alternative to metal palatal expanders. Those devices requires manually turning a screw in the device in the mouth daily to achieve expansion.

The expanders feature a series of removable devices sta…

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Align Technology makes $100M open market stock repurchase

Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) announced today that it plans to repurchase $100 million of its own common stock.

Tempe, Arizona-based Align Technology’s open market repurchase falls under its $1 billion stock repurchase program. The company’s board approved the program in January 2023.

Align Technology executed a $250 million repurchase in February of this year with Citibank. Last month, the company triggered another $250 million repurchase in an accelerated program.

As with other repurchase efforts, Align Technology President and CEO Joe Hogan intends to personally purchase $1 million in common stock. He did the same in the company’s accelerated program last month.

The company expects to complete the repurchases by mid-December 2023, funding them with cash on hand. As of Sept. 30, 2023, it had approximately 76.6 million shares outstanding with $1.3 billion in cash on hand.

“Invisalign is the most trusted brand in the Orth…

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Intuitive appoints Align Technology exec to its board

New Intuitive board member Sreelakshmi Kolli. [Image from Zimmer Biomet]Intuitive (Nasdaq: ISRG) + announced that it appointed Align Technology executive Sreelakshmi Kolli to its board of directors.

Kolli currently serves as EVP and chief digital officer at Align, the maker of Invisalign clear aligners and other dental tech. Her appointment to Intuitive’s board of directors went into effect on Oct. 27, 2023.

“Sree has deep expertise in applying technology to transform industries, enable business growth and drive strategy,” said Intuitive CEO Gary Guthart. “We look forward to her insights, particularly with respect to digital capabilities and meaningful customer experiences, as we continue to advance what’s possible in minimally invasive care.”

Kolli’s current role at Align holds responsibility for leading software, data, enterprise, cloud and infrastructure engineering. Her focus centers around the desi…

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Align Technology announces $250M accelerated share repurchase program

Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) announced today that it entered into an agreement to repurchase $250 million of its common stock.

The company also executed a $1 billion stock repurchase agreement announced in May 2021. Align took care of one buyback in October 2022 through a $200 million repurchase with Goldman Sachs.

Align’s board officially approved the current program in January 2023. It repurchased another $250 million in February of this year with Citibank.

Align’s latest agreement, another accelerated deal, also took place with Citibank. Like with the February repurchase, President and CEO Joe Hogan agreed to personally purchase $1.0 million of Align’s common stock.

The latest stock repurchase program operates in accordance with SEC guidelines, the company said in a news release. As of June 30, 2023, Align had approximately $76.5 million shares outstanding and $1 billion in cash, equivalents and securities.

Under the terms …

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How exposed are Medtronic, Intuitive and other Medtech Big 100 device makers to China?

China promises risk and upside for Medtronic, Intuitive and other major medical device manufacturers. [Photo via Adobe Stock]

As economic concerns shift from the U.S. to China, medical device manufacturers such as Medtronic and Intuitive are monitoring how procedure volumes and new policies affect their businesses.

In a new note, William Blair analyst Brandon Vazquez details the exposure of those companies and four more on Medical Design & Outsourcing‘s Medtech Big 100 ranking of the world’s largest device makers.

“The bottom line for our coverage universe is that exposure seems manageable with all companies at 10% or less of revenues/procedures coming from China, though we admit materially worsening macro conditions, if materialized, have the potential to move the needle on results — something we have already heard from some intra-quarter updates this month,” Vazquez wrote. Read more

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Align Technology launches Invisalign palatal expanders

The Invisalign palatal expander. [Image courtesy of Align Technology]Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) announced that it today introduced its proprietary, patented Invisalign palatal expander system.

The direct 3D-printed device provides rapid expansion and subsequent holding of skeletal and/or dental narrow maxilla (upper jaw). It enables primary, mixed or permanent dentition during the treatment of growing patients.

Align said the Invisalign palatal expander is its first direct 3D-printed orthodontic device. The Tempe, Arizona-based company says it provides a safe, comfortable and clinically effective alternative to metal palatal expanders. Those devices requires manually turning a screw in the device in the mouth daily to achieve expansion.

“I am very proud to unveil the Invisalign Palatal Expander System, our latest innovation in digital orthodontics based on proprietary and patented technology that builds on many industry firsts designed for treatment of …

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SmileDirectClub to appeal order to pay Align Technology $63M

SmileDirectClub (Nasdaq:SDC) intends to appeal an arbitration decision ordering it to pay $63 million to Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN).

Align Technology announced this week that the Superior Court, State of California, County of Santa Clara, issued an order granting a petition from Align. It confirmed and denied SmileDirectClub’s petition to vacate the $63 million arbitration award in Align’s favor.

In August 2020, Align initiated a confidential arbitration proceeding against SmileDirectClub. It related to a supply agreement entered into between the parties in 2016. Align became an investor, strategic partner and exclusive third-party supplier of aligners through this agreement. It purchased a 19% ownership stake in SmileDirectClub in 2016.

The companies dissolved their partnership in March 2019 when an arbitrator found that Align violated the terms of its agreement with SmileDirectClub. According to the latter, Align attempted to replicate …

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Align Technology stock soars after hours on Street-beating Q2

Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) shares are on the rise after the market closed today following second-quarter results that beat the consensus forecast.

Shares of ALGN ticked up 11.2% to $378 apiece after hours today. MassDevice’s MedTech 100 Index — which includes stocks of the world’s largest medical device companies — finished the day up 0.6%.

The Tempe, Arizona-based dental technology maker posted profits of $111.8 million. That amounts to $1.46 per share on sales of just over $1 billion for the three months ended June 30, 2023.

Align Technology recorded a 27.3% bottom-line gain on sales growth of 6.3%.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share totaled $2.22, landing 19¢ ahead of analysts’ forecasts. Sales also beat expectations of $991.4 million.

The company’s Invisalign clear aligners drove sales for the quarter, rising 4.3% year-over-year to $832.7 million. Revenues for Align Technology’s imag…

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Medtech jobs: The world’s largest medical device companies are hiring

Medical device companies are trying to fill thousand of medtech jobs. [Photo by ijeab –]

The world’s largest medical device companies are still hiring for medtech jobs despite layoffs in tech and other industries.

Medtech developers — and medtech jobs — are resilient, with the industry’s COVID-19 pandemic performance only bolstering its recession-proof reputation.

That’s not to say there haven’t been job cuts in medtech, led by thousands of layoffs at Philips as it struggles with a massive recall of deadly respiratory devices. But most medical device manufacturers are still hiring, and in some cases they can’t attract enough candidates to fill every vacancy in a tight labor market.

Stryker, for example, grew to approximately 51,000 employees as of the end of 2022, increasing its headcount by nearly 11 percent last year. Boston Scientific reported nearl…

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