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SmileDirectClub’s dismal first-day stock drop shows people hate online dentists too

SmileDirectClub’s dismal first-day stock drop shows people hate online dentists too
[Photo: Jon Tyson/Unsplash]

Guessing there weren’t too many smiles around the SmileDirectClub offices today.

The teledentistry tooth-straightening startup kickstarted its IPO and its first day on the Nasdaq by opening down about 14%, Yahoo Finance reports, and then continuing its first day as a publicly traded company by falling even more in early afternoon trading.

SmileDirectClub is on track to be one of the 15 worst debuts this year and by far the worst billion-dollar unicorn to go public this year, CNBC notes. It’s a bit surprising that its IPO made such a belly flop in that giant pool of money, because unlike many of its fellow unicorns, SmileDirectClub is what CNBC describes as on “the cusp of profitability,” thanks to shipping its products to four countries, expanding its product line to include teeth whitening and lip balm, and launching deals with CVS Health and Walgreen Boots Alliance. The stock market was not impressed with that near profitability, though.

SmileDirectClub CFO Kyle Wailes thinks those frowns are going to turn upside down soon. He told Yahoo Finance that the company isn’t dwelling on the bad news but is focusing on the positive, which it believes is the long-term potential, because people’s teeth aren’t going to straighten themselves.

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