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Why TransEnterix Stock Surged Today and Then Gave Up All its Gains

By Joe Tenebruso - Updated Jan 20, 2021 at 5:15PM

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The robotic surgery specialist is helping to enhance the capabilities of surgeons, but its shares may have come too far, too fast.

What happened

Shares of TransEnterix (ASXC 9.03%) soared as much as 27.2% on Wednesday before surrendering their gains and finishing the trading day down less than 1%.

So what

TransEnterix received approval in Europe on Tuesday for its Intelligent Surgical Unit (ISU), which adds machine-vision functions to the Senhance Surgical System. Senhance digital laparoscopic surgery programs in Europe will now have access to this innovative augmented-intelligence technology. 

"We have already successfully implemented augmented intelligence in the U.S. with the Senhance System after receiving [Food and Drug Administration] clearance last year," CEO Anthony Fernando said in a press release. "We are pleased to expand this important capability to our broader global user base."

By providing an enhanced ability to recognize certain objects and track locations, the ISU's machine-vision capabilities help surgeons better visualize the surgical area, while also giving them more precise control over camera movements. Additionally, surgical teams can more easily work together in the operating room by sharing the surgeon's console view in real time.

A person is pointing to a digital stock chart that rises sharply and then falls.

TransEnterix's stock price rose sharply before reversing course on Wednesday. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The Senhance Surgical System can be used for multiple types of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgeries in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Surgeons perform more than 6 million procedures in these areas in the U.S. and Europe every year. It's a potentially massive market for TransEnterix, and investors are understandably intrigued by the possibilities.

But at its highs on Wednesday, the stock price had more than doubled following the announcement of its European approval on Tuesday morning. Many investors likely decided to lock in some gains and sell their shares at that point, which could be why TransEnterix's stock price ended the trading day essentially flat on Wednesday.

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