Robotic Surgery Giant Tops Forecasts On Roaring Procedure Growth; Is It Sustainable?

 Robotic Surgery Giant Tops Forecasts On Roaring Procedure Growth; Is It Sustainable?

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) narrowly beat Wall Street’s quarterly forecasts Tuesday and reported bullish growth for its da Vinci robotic surgery system — prodding ISRG stock higher.


During the third quarter, the number of procedures using the da Vinci system jumped 20%. The firm also reported double-digit growth for the number of da Vinci systems it shipped and installed. Further, sales and earnings surged by double digits, just ahead of forecasts.

“We are pleased with our team’s performance in a complex environment, and we are building upon the robust clinical and technological foundation created over the past 26 years through investment in innovation to drive continued growth,” Chief Executive Gary Guthart said in a written statement.

On the stock market today, ISRG stock rose 1.2% to 336.30.

ISRG Stock Wrangles Narrow Beat

Intuitive Surgical generated $1.4 billion in third-quarter sales, growing 30% year over year. Revenue beat ISRG stock analysts’ forecast for $1.38 billion. Meanwhile, adjusted income increased more than 29% to $1.19 per share. That topped expectations by 2 cents.

Notably, procedure growth of 20% comes back in line with pre-pandemic levels. In light of the Covid pandemic, a number of hospitals and patients delayed elective surgeries. Intuitive Surgical saw a major downfall in procedure growth in mid-2020.

That trend appears to have reversed with 68% growth in 2021’s second quarter — following a tough year-ago comparison — and 20% growth in the third. Procedure growth is a key indicator for strength in Intuitive’s business. As procedures grow, so too do sales of one-time instruments and accessories.

In the third quarter, sales of instruments and accessories advanced 20% to $755 million.

The company also shipped 336 da Vinci Surgical Systems, an increase of 72% year over year. Intuitive Surgical also grew its base of installed systems by 11% to 6,525.

Stock Split Approved

The news helped prod ISRG stock closer to a breakout. Shares are forming a flat base with a buy point at 362.40, according to

Intuitive Surgical recently approved a three-for-one stock split, which began trading on Oct. 5. Before that, shares were approaching 1,000.

Also of note, on Monday, ISRG stock inched a fraction higher after the company unveiled promising results for a test of its robotic surgery lung cancer biopsy.

Using the system Intuitive Surgical calls Ion resulted in an 83% diagnostic yield. This means there was an 83% chance the samples obtained would help physicians diagnose a patient’s cancer.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.


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