Intuitive Surgical jumps past $100 billion market value as 1st-quarter earnings report trounces even the most bullish forecasts


Shares of Intuitive Surgical jumped as much as 9.8% on Wednesday to a record high of $891.15 after the robotic surgery company crushed first quarter earnings.

The stock movement pushed Intuitive Surgical’s market capitalization past $100 billion for the first time ever.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company reported earnings-per share of $3.52 in the first quarter of 2021, higher than the average analyst estimate of $2.61. Sales came in at nearly $1.29 billion, higher than the expected $1.1 billion and increasing 18% year-over-year.

Surgical procedures also recovered steadily in the first quarter as COVID-19 cases declined, UBS analyst Matthew Taylor noted.

Procedures using Intuitive’s robotic surgery system called Da Vinci increased 16% in the first quarter. Intuitive Surgical also shipped 298 new robotic surgeons to customers, up 26% vs. the same time period a year earlier.

“Net-net, this was a surprise with recovery progressing faster than expected on top of healthy capital spending trends, capped by Intuitive Surgical initiating 2021 guidance above consensus,” Taylor said in a report to clients. The analyst raised his price target for Intuitive Surgical to $890 from $860 and reiterated his “neutral” rating for the stock.

Intuitive Surgical also noted a forward procedure growth guidance of 22%-26%, versus analyst’ forecast for an 18% increase.

“The high end of the range assumes that COVID cases and their impact on procedures continues to decline through the year, vaccine rollouts continue as currently planned and recovery of patient backlogs will progress,” said Taylor.

“At the lower end, ISRG sees the possibility of extended impact of COVID in OUS geographies with slower vaccine rollouts like is happening in parts of Europe currently. The lower end also includes slower recovery of diagnostic pipelines that have been impacted by the pandemic, and regionalized resurgence of COVID cases in the US,” he added.

Intuitive Surgical has gained nearly 70% in the last 12 months.

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