Business

SmileDirectClub‘s rocky initial public offering can be attributed to an aggressive asking price, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday. But the “Mad Money” host admits he is unsure of what price he would pay for the upstart orthodontics company’s stock.

“I don’t know what the right price is for SDC, but I do know I wouldn’t pay more than $16 and change for it, where the stock bottomed yesterday,” Cramer said.

SmileDirectClub’s shares fell 28% on Thursday, marking the worst IPO for a unicorn in 2019 and fifth worst of the 109 IPOs this year. Shares ended the day at $16.67 after opening at $20.55. The company priced its shares at $23 apiece on Wednesday.

The stock rebounded on Friday, rising 12.06% percent to $18.68. But before investing in it, Cramer said, it’s important to look at not only SmileDirectClub’s fundamentals but the broader landscape for orthodontic disruptors.

SmileDirectClub isn’t the only company out to disrupt the orthodontics world. Align Technology, maker of Invisalign, uses a similar concept, Cramer noted, but there are key differences.

Without insurance, Invisalign’s product goes for $3,000 to $5,000, Cramer said, while SmileDirectClub’s service costs roughly $2,000.

“Even more important, if you want to get Invisalign, you have to go to an actual orthodontist and get monthly checkups,” Cramer said.

SmileDirectClub allows customers to take teeth impressions at home.

I think this story is practically custom-tailored for millennials who want to look their selfie best at all times,” Cramer said. “SDC is a bargain, it’s convenient, and it makes you look better on Instagram — that’s the trifecta.”

And while the company’s sales growth decelerated from 190% last year to 113% in the first six months of this year, “that’s still pretty darned good,” Cramer argued.

At the same time, Cramer said he sees a lot of cons.

The company, which lost $74.8 million last year, has seen its marketing expenses rise faster than its sales, up 141% year over year to $209 million.

“Not what I like to see,” Cramer said. “Hopefully they can tap the brakes on promotional activity once they’ve reached a critical mass level, but we’ll have to see,” he added.

Additionally, there is increasing competition in the space from Invisalign and others such as 3M‘s Clarity Aligners, Cramer said.

The growing competition has led to a tough year for Align Technology’s stock, which closed at 177.47 on Friday. That’s down 54.64% from its 52-week high of 398.88.

“Frankly, it’s starting to feel a little crowded,” Cramer said. “It feels like the online food delivery space, where GrubHub used to be the great investment but became a real dog once others started moving in on their territory.”

Overall, Cramer said he thinks SmileDirectClub’s pros outweigh its cons. It’s still a difficult company to evaluate, Cramer said.

“But, honestly, maybe this just isn’t a great time for IPOs of companies with terrific revenue growth and no profits that operate in increasingly competitive industries,” he said.

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