On Oct. 18, robotic surgery pioneer Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) released third-quarter earnings for the period ended Sept. 30, 2007.

  • The company sold 63 new robotic surgery systems during the quarter, including 17 outside the country. That's up from 46 systems sold a year ago, bringing the installed base up to 719 units across the globe.
  • Intuitive is rapidly building a strong balance sheet, with no debt to speak of and a hefty cash position. Inventories are growing, but not nearly as fast as sales -- demand for its machines appears higher than the available supply.
  • Intuitive Surgical is one of the top performers on our Motley Fool Rule Breakers scorecard, right next to other market thumpers like online jeweler Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) and OLED pioneer Universal Display (NASDAQ:PANL). See the rest of the gang with a free 30-day trial pass to our early adopter money maker.

(Figures in thousands, except per-share data)

Income statement highlights

Q3 2007

Q3 2006

Change

Sales

$156,904

$95,832

63.7%

Net Profit

$40,919

$17,263

137%

Diluted EPS

$1.04

$0.45

131.1%

Diluted Shares

39,271

38,184

2.8%

Get back to basics with the income statement.

Margin checkup

Q3 2007

Q3 2006

Change*

Gross Margin

69.1%

65.7%

3.5

Operating Margin

34.4%

27.5%

6.9

Net Margin

26.1%

18%

8.1

*Expressed in percentage points.

Margins are the earnings engine.

Balance sheet highlights

Assets

Q3 2007

Q3 2006

Change

Cash + ST Invest.

$533,489

$292,297

82.5%

Accounts Rec.

$120,456

$71,679

68%

Inventory

$26,773

$22,330

19.9%

Liabilities

Q3 2007

Q3 2006

Change

Accounts Payable & Accrued Liabilities

$63,525

$36,230

75.3%

The balance sheet reflects the company's health.

Cash flow highlights
Free cash flow is a Fool's best friend. The company didn't let it out to play today, but Intuitive's full 10-Q statement tends to follow the earnings report within days. Stay tuned.

Related Foolishness:

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