A stock that will boost your portfolio as soon as this year sounds great. But what's even better is a stock that you can count on for near-term and long-term gains. Where to look for such a combination? A good candidate is a company that's growing or recovering now -- but also has strong revenue drivers well into the future.
I've found three that fit the bill. One is a robotic surgery leader, another is a rising star in genome analysis, and the third is a coronavirus vaccine maker with a hefty and diversified pipeline. Let's take a close look at each.
The idea of robotic surgery may seem futuristic. But it's actually a widely used technology today. And Intuitive Surgical (ISRG 0.26%)is leading the pack. The company has installed more than 6,000 of its Da Vinci surgical systems worldwide. Surgeons use them for a variety of minimally invasive procedures in general surgery and various specialties.
Intuitive suffered during the worst of the pandemic due to the postponement of many procedures. But things are clearly picking up. The company said Da Vinci procedures rose 16% in the first quarter. Intuitive's shipments of Da Vinci systems increased 26% year over year. And revenue climbed 18% to more than $1.2 billion. Importantly, Intuitive doesn't only generate revenue from sales of systems. It also sells instruments, accessories, and services.
Intuitive shares are only up about 5% so far this year. But I expect the continuation of the company's rebound to fuel more gains in the coming months. As for the long term, I'm optimistic Intuitive's leadership position will keep revenue -- and share price -- growing. The company holds nearly 80% of the robotic surgery market, according to a report by BIS Research.
Bionano Genomics (BNGO -1.33%) works in the business of genome analysis. But it has a very particular specialty: optical genome mapping (OGM). Its Saphyr analysis system picks up on large structural variations within the genome. They are often the key to detecting genetic disease.
The company is at the start of its growth story. Its customers are using the Saphyr system for analyses in areas such as prenatal and post-natal genetics and solid tumors. Bionano says that widespread use of these assays and positive research publications will support the case for OGM reimbursement by third-party payers. This is an important point to watch moving forward.
Now what about the financial picture? It's looking good. The company reported a 179% increase in first-quarter revenue to $3.2 million. Gross margin widened to 33% from 25% year over year as Bionano focused on higher-margin products and services. And the company reported a cash level of $362 million, up from $38.4 million in December.
Bionano said all 2021 milestones are on track. So, if this continues, I expect Bionano to extend its gains this year. The stock is up 146% year to date. One key thing to note: Bionano is a good option for aggressive investors. But cautious investors may want to wait until the company shows steady revenue growth on an annual basis -- or even reaches profitability.
Moderna (MRNA -0.23%) shares have made a lot of investors happy so far this year. The stock is up more than 100%. The biotech company reported its first ever profit -- and a billion dollar one at that -- thanks to its coronavirus vaccine. Moderna posted a first-quarter profit of $1.2 billion and product sales of $1.7 billion. The company's vaccine orders for the year represent $19.2 billion in revenue.
What's even better are the future prospects. Moderna expects need for its vaccine to be even stronger next year. The company is in discussions for potential 2022 orders with all of the countries that bought its vaccine this year. And Israel and Switzerland have already signed on for a second year of Moderna vaccines.
Booster shots, a second round of full vaccination, and new groups to vaccinate like kids and teens should drive demand higher next year. And we should expect recurrent revenue beyond this point too. That's because experts say the coronavirus will stick around for a while.
But Moderna isn't a coronavirus vaccine only company. Its cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidate is set to begin a phase 3 pivotal trial this year. CMV is a common virus that's particularly dangerous for people who are pregnant or have a weakened immune system. Moderna also has more than 20 other programs in the pipeline. So, there's plenty to keep Moderna's shares moving higher this year -- and in the years to come.