What happened

Shares of Asensus Surgical (ASXC -1.72%) were soaring 27.1% as of 11:36 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The big jump came after H.C. Wainwright analysts initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating. The analysts set a price target of $4 per share.

So what

It's not a great idea to base an opinion on a stock solely because of an analyst's recommendation. But investors can profit from understanding why an analyst is bullish about a stock.

Robotic surgical system

Image source: Getty Images.

In this case, H.C. Wainwright is very optimistic about Asensus Surgical's prospects. The price target reflects a premium of 97% above the Tuesday closing price for the healthcare stock. This positive recommendation for Asensus comes about two weeks after the company provided an encouraging first-quarter update. 

CEO Anthony Fernando said that the company saw "signs of recovery" from the pandemic in the first quarter. The company signed two lease agreements with hospitals for its Senhance robotic surgical system. It also received an expanded 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for the general surgical indication for Senhance.

Now what

Asensus expects continued momentum this year. The company projects that it will install as many as 12 new Senhance systems by the end of 2021, including two in the second quarter. Asensus also plans to file for 510(k) clearance with the FDA in the second quarter for the next wave of its Intelligent Surgical Unit features.