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Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) to Gain From Procedural Business

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On Nov 15, we issued an updated research report on Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG - Free Report) — manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical system (an advanced robot-assisted surgical system) and related instruments and accessories.  

Among major positives, the Sunnyvale-based company has had an impressive run on the bourses, of late. A glimpse at the recent price performance reveals a favorable return of 81.7% in the past year compared  with the industry’s rally of 20.1%. The company has a solid track record characterized by earnings beats in all of the trailing four quarters.

 

 

Recently, Intuitive Surgical reported stellar performance on the back of higher adoption of the da Vinci system among physicians and overall growth in global procedures. The system enables minimally-invasive surgery that helps avoid the trauma associated with open surgery. The company’s performance was also driven by growing volumes, courtesy of general surgery, oncology, urology and gynecology procedures.

Intuitive Surgical consistently introduces technologies for surgical systems. The company plans to launch an upgrade — da Vinci X — to its flagship Vinci Xi technology. Management confirmed the submission of documents for CE Mark approval of Vinci X. Further, the company expects availability of this device in Europe by the end of 2017. In the long haul, extensive expenditure on product pipeline and expansion in international markets like Europe should drive growth for the company.

On the flipside, the company expects procedure growth rate to slow down outside the United States in the upcoming quarters. The lengthy sale and purchase order cycle of the da Vinci system has added to the company’s woes. Also, expenses on research and development (R&D) increased significantly in the first half of 2017, reflecting high spending on advanced imaging, advanced instrumentation and next-generation robotics.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Intuitive Surgical carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked medical stocks are PetMed Express, Inc. , Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN - Free Report) and Myriad Genetics, Inc. (MYGN - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here.

PetMed has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 10%. The stock has rallied roughly 71.8% in the last year.

Align Technology has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 28.9%. The stock has gained 170.1% in the last year.

Myriad Genetics has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15%. The stock has gained 87.1% in the last year.

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