Intuitive Surgical Reported Better-than-Expected First-Quarter Profit on Expanded Use of its Da Vinci Robots

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INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC. (Sunnyvale CA) reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit on expanded use of its da Vinci robots in U.S. general surgeries such as hernia repair, and it raised its full-year outlook for procedure growth.

The company now expects procedures using da Vinci robots to increase 12% to 14% in 2016, helped also by a favorable outlook for prostate and gynecological surgeries, executives said. Intuitive previously forecast procedure growth of 9% to 12%.

In the first quarter, procedures using da Vinci robots rose 17% worldwide from a year ago, driven by growth in U.S. general surgery and overseas urological surgeries. Growth in hernia repair was robust, and the robot saw continued adoption in colorectal surgery, executives said.

The company is also focused on expanding use of the robot in thoracic procedures, particularly complex cancer cases. “You are seeing both clinical and economic benefits with robotic surgery use in these procedures,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Jason Mills.

Excluding one-time items, Intuitive said it earned $4.42 a share. Analysts expected $4.33 a share.

Net profit for the quarter rose to $136 million, or $3.54 a share, from $97 million, or $2.57 a share, a year ago. The company’s net quarterly profit had been projected at $3.43 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose 12% to $595 million.

The company said it shipped 110 da Vinci systems in the first quarter, up from 99 units in the year-ago period. The company said it has made steady improvements in reducing product costs, including for surgical instruments, and expects to make additional progress this year and in 2017. Shares closed the week up 2% at $638.15.

Monday, April 25, 2016 / Vol. 24 / No. 16

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