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Here's Why You Should Hold Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) Stock

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With a market capitalization of approximately $56.58 billion, Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG - Free Report) continues to benefit from growing adoption of the company’s da Vinci system, increasing procedure volumes, consistent innovation and solid recurring revenue base.

However, unfavorable foreign exchange, procedure adoption risk, lower capital spending by hospitals and increasing regulatory headwinds are major concerns.

For fiscal 2018, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is currently pegged at $3.61 billion, reflecting an increase of 15.2%. Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings is pegged at $10.26, showing a rise of 14.1%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Here we take a quick look at the primary factors that have been plaguing Intuitive Surgical and discuss the prospects that ensure near-term recovery.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Price and Consensus


Competition Mar Prospects

Intuitive Surgical has been enjoying a monopoly in the market for robots used in abdominal surgery since the launch of its flagship device called da Vinci back in 2000.

Post the regulatory approval of Transenterix's surgical robot for abdominal surgery in 2017, competition for Intuitive Surgical has intensified. Reports suggest that the news had a negative impact onthe company’s price movement, even though the device is not expected to compete directly with da Vinci.

MedTech giant Medtronic is another major threat. Per sources,the company has been working on its surgical robot and plans to launch it in 2018.

Why Should you Hold?

The da Vinci surgical system enables minimally-invasive surgery that helps avoid the trauma associated with open surgery. The da Vinci System is powered by robotic technology that allows surgeon’s hand gestures to be translated into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. da Vinci has bolstered the company’s foothold in the  markets of Cardiac Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, General Surgery, Gynecologic Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Urologic Surgery. The system has facilitatedminimally invasive surgery to more than 3 million patients worldwide.

Recently, the da Vinci Surgical System has been observed to cure patients diagnosed with inguinal hernia.

The company launched an upgrade to its flagship Vinci Xi technology — da Vinci X — recently. Notably, the Xi suite is designed to seamlessly integrate future innovations, such as advanced instrumentation, surgical skills simulation, software upgrades and other advancements into one dynamic platform. The company can now ship Xi Single-Site, Xi 30-millimeter stapler and Firefly to several countries.

Minimally invasive surgery is becoming increasingly popular as it helps patients recover faster and reduces hospital costs. Notably, the minimally invasive surgical instruments market is projected to reach a worth of $18.14 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 10.2% (Markets & Markets). Although high price of the system may hinder widespread adoption, we believe that the benefits of minimally invasive surgery will propelsurgeons and patients to use the system. This will drive the company’s system sales and improve top-line growth in the long run.

Favorable Share Price Movement

Intuitive Surgical has outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company’s shares have surged almost 50.8%, against the industry’s decline of 2.4%. The current level is also higher than the S&P 500 index’s rise of 12.9%.

Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Genomic Health (GHDX - Free Report) , Abiomed (ABMD - Free Report) and Stryker Corporation (SYK - Free Report) .

Genomic Health has an expected earnings growth rate of 187.5% for the current quarter. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Abiomed has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 27%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Stryker has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 9.7%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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