Why Intuitive Surgical Inc. Stock Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of robotic surgery system specialist Intuitive Surgical  (NASDAQ: ISRG  ) popped 15% today after its quarterly results impressed Wall Street.

So what: Intuitive shares had pulled back sharply in April on weak sales of its da Vinci surgical systems, but a wide Q2 beat -- adjusted EPS of $3.73 on revenue of $512.2 million vs. the consensus of $2.83 and $501.7 million -- suggests that a return to heady growth isn't too far away. While revenue declined 11% year over year, management noted that the number of procedures recovered solidly, reigniting optimism among analysts over Intuitive's new product launches and global expansion prospects going forward.

Now what: Don't expect Intuitive's operating momentum to slow anytime soon. "I am encouraged by several trends in the quarter," said President and CEO Dr. Gary Guthart. "First, global procedures grew 8% on a sequential basis and 9% year over year. We launched our newest platform, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System and the market reception for it has been very positive." More important, with Intuitive continuing to boast a rock-solid balance and a still-beaten-down stock price -- off more than 15% from its 52-week highs -- the downside seems limited enough to bet on that bullishness.

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