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SmileDirect investors have an ear-to-ear grin in 2020 - thanks to its alternative data

1 month ago by Jon Marino in Consumer

SmileDirectClub ($NASDAQ:SDC) investors should have an ear-to-ear grin on right now, thanks to the dental disruptor's stock. Shares are soaring to begin 2020 and with earnings on the way next month, alternative data could speak volumes about the Nashville-based startup's prospects. 

One of the things driving the investor hype behind SmileDirectClub is its rapid scaling into new markets and stores. And, as our first chart shows, 'store count,' or the number of locations where SmileDirectClub products have been marketed, is up more than 400% year-over-year. 

SmileDirect is also generating more social media buzz now that it's expanding. Perhaps it's due to the fact SmileDirect has gone 'direct' to orthodontists, who they'll allow to carry their product - perhaps it has to do more with its expansion to big-box store shelves, like Walmart. 

SmileDirectClub has gotten off to a tremendous start in 2020 - shares are up more than 70% from their December 2019 lows. At the same time - and despite SmileDirect's physical scaling - job postings (seen above) are down 20% from their 2019 peak. It could be the fact that SmileDirect can only scale into so many locations - or, it may be successfully filling jobs, and pulling them as they add new staffers. 

So far - as Bloomberg points out - it hasn't been enough to keep the shorts at bay. In a few weeks (February 11), SmileDirectClub is expected to report earnings, and we'll get a better understanding of how the alternative data weighs on the startup's results. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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