Businesses in evolving or growing industries are attractive to investors because of their growth prospects. Moreover, in an economic downturn or a bear market, such companies, or growth stocks, usually trade at bargain prices, making them doubly attractive to long-term investors. 

In the healthcare sector, robotic surgery giant Intuitive Surgical (ISRG 0.99%), medical devices manufacturer and distributor Medtronic (MDT -1.34%), and multi-state cannabis operator Cresco Labs (CRLBF 0.62%) are rising stars with bright prospects. While all three have established a name in their respective fields, they are constantly looking for further growth opportunities. So let's dive deeper into these companies and see why they have much more room to grow. 

Plants growing on coins.

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1. Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive is dominating the robotic surgery market with its state-of-the-art da Vinci robotic systems. The machines help perform minimally invasive surgeries, which are primarily elective procedures. The coronavirus pandemic might still be a roadblock for the company, as its sole revenue is from these robotic surgeries. But it hasn't put a dent in the company's performance. 

A 19% surge in worldwide procedures performed using the systems drove its revenue to $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the year-ago period. It also installed an additional 311 da Vinci surgical systems in the quarter. The company also adds the sale of disposable instruments and accessories used during these surgeries to its top line, which grew 15% year over year to $810 million. 

The company also trains surgeons to use its da Vinci systems, an expense for hospitals. At the end of 2021, Intuitive reported that it has installed close to 6,500 da Vinci surgical systems in 67 countries and trained more than 55,000 surgeons to use them. Even if a cheaper new product enters the market, it is unlikely the hospitals will spend time and money to switch, thus protecting Intuitive's revenue for years to come. 

The pandemic issue is temporary. It will wane one day, and when it does, elective surgeries will be in demand again, driving Intuitive's revenue and profits further. Moreover, the robotic surgery market could grow to be valued at $15 billion by 2029, and Intuitive holds around 70% of that market, according to BIS research. This market is yet to be fully explored, leaving a lot of scope for Intuitive in the long run.

2. Medtronic

Medtronic is a rising star in the medical devices segment. Though this is a much bigger and more mature business than Intuitive, it still has areas where it can expand. Medtronic operates across 150 countries, treating close to 70 health conditions. It has four product lines: cardiovascular, medical-surgical, neuroscience, and diabetes. It has also launched its robotic-assisted device, Hugo, to compete with Intuitive's da Vinci, which will be launched in the U.S. upon regulatory approval.

The company has kept its business stable for years. Its outstanding performance every quarter and consistent dividend payouts are proof of that. In the quarter ended April 29, revenue came in at $8.1 billion, marking a year-over-year organic growth rate of 1%. Full-year revenue grew 5% to $32 billion. Meanwhile, adjusted net profits came in at $1.4 billion compared to $1.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. Most of its segments saw gains in the quarter, except for diabetes (down 4.8%) and medical-surgical (off 1.2%).

Looking ahead to fiscal 2023, Medtronic foresees some inflation pressure, supply chain issues, and other headwinds, but it has high growth prospects in the medical device segment. In addition, the company ended the fiscal year 2022 with a free cash flow of $6 billion, a 22% growth from fiscal 2021, which could help fuel new product developments.

An added perk is the company is a Dividend Aristocrat -- a company that has increased dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. Its strong performance in fiscal 2022 allowed it to hike the annual dividend by 8% to $2.72 per share, marking its 45th consecutive year of dividend increases. With a dividend yield of 3%, the company remains committed to returning 50% of its free cash flow to shareholders.

Medtronic has a diversified portfolio of products with a long history of returning cash to shareholders, making it an attractive investment now

3. Cresco Labs

Cresco Labs sells medical and recreational cannabis products in multiple states in the U.S. Its aggressive plans helped it earn $822 million in annual revenue in 2021, and it now operates 50 dispensaries nationwide.

Cresco also started the year strong, with revenue growth of 20% to $214 million from the prior-year quarter. It has been consistently profitable from an operational standpoint. Its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) also jumped 45% year over year to $51 million.

I found Cresco's power move in the quarter to acquire peer Columbia Care impressive. With many new, smaller companies coming into the market, it was wise to join hands with the competition.

With Columbia's assets, Cresco will have more than 130 dispensaries in 18 states. When it comes to fruition, the merger will help Cresco become a better, bigger cannabis operator.

The company ended the quarter with $179 million of cash on hand, which should help it carry out its expansion plans this year. If state legalization continues to ramp up, Cresco could be a stronger, profitable company soon.

Healthcare is a winner eventually

Everyone needs healthcare; it's a sector that won't suffer from a lack of demand for its services. Put differently, there are ample amount of growth opportunities for these companies. Similarly, cannabis also has medicinal and recreational benefits. It is still an evolving industry yet to reveal its full potential. This is why I believe these three stocks are excellent choices for investors to buy now at a bargain price and hold for the long haul.