Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of robotic surgical device maker Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) vaulted higher by as much as 11% following a better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report.
So what: Make that 15 straight quarterly beats! For the quarter, Intuitive, the maker of the da Vinci surgical system, reported a 23% increase in year-over-year revenue to $609.3 million, as income rose 16% to $4.25 per share. Wall Street had only been expected Intuitive to report a profit of $4.03 on $585.7 million in sales. Intuitive noted that procedure growth improved by 25% relative to last year, and saw healthy growth of 18% from da Vinci surgical system sales and 29% from instrument and accessories sales. Looking forward, the company guided to procedure growth of 20% to 23% in 2013.
Now what: Citron Research, who? OK, perhaps that was a little harsh, but I disagreed pretty strongly with their assertion last month that Intuitive's valuation was undeserved. With a veritable monopoly on the soft tissue market and a boatload of pricing power, there's little to stop it from double-digit growth for as far as I can see -- even with a European slowdown dragging on its results. This really is one of the few great growth companies out there and would recommend all growth-seeking investors at least give it a look or keep it on your watchlist.
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