What happened

Shares of robot-assisted surgery start-up Mazor Robotics Ltd. (NASDAQ:MZOR) gained 20% in July, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The market boosted the stock in response to news that its most recent spinal surgery system continues to gain traction. 

So what 

The company began taking orders for its new Mazor X surgical system last October and ended 2016 with an 18-system backlog for the new product. News of just six Mazor X orders in the first quarter this year raised concern that interest in the new system had fizzled, plus a state agency investigation disclosed in June also hit the stock hard.

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Image source: Getty Images.

While the company still hasn't shed much light on the reason for the investigation, announcing 16 Mazor X orders during the second quarter, and 19 total system orders, went a long way toward assuring investors that the Mazor X system is indeed gaining popularity.

Now what

The pre-earnings order announcement predicted record second-quarter revenue, which the company delivered earlier this month. Second-quarter revenue rose 87% higher from the same period last year to $15.5 million. While placing more systems into more hospitals is important, investors will want to keep an eye on recurring revenue from consumables that must be replaced after each surgery performed. In the second quarter, revenue from kit sales and services rose a healthy 50% to $6.3 million.

Compared with industry giant Intuitive Surgical, Mazor Robotics is still small potatoes. As my Foolish colleague Brian Feroldi pointed out recently, Mazor's focus on spinal surgeries has kept the two from crossing paths. The robotic-surgery space is changing rapidly, but for now, it looks as if Mazor will remain at the top of the nice little niche it's carved out for itself.

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