Never arm-wrestle a company that makes robotic arms. That's the lesson Wall Street never seems to learn; analysts' predictions were once again smoked by Intuitive Surgical's (NASDAQ:ISRG) latest numbers.

The maker of the da Vinci surgical robotic arms saw its shares open 16% higher this morning on the strength of its fourth-quarter results. Intuitive posted a profit of $0.62 a share, or $0.73 a share before stock-based compensation expenses. Weak-armed analysts were expecting net income to clock in at $0.51 a share. Net revenues soared 56% higher to hit $112.6 million.

No one should be surprised to see the knuckles of Wall Street's finest slammed against the table. Intuitive has blown past profit targets for 19 consecutive quarters. David Gardner spotted the pattern early, recommending the stock three times to Rule Breakers subscribers over the past two years. It's panned out well. The initial recommendation was made at nearly a third of the today's price.

Intuitive isn't the only company making the operating table more efficient through robotics. It's up against smaller upstarts and heavy hitters like Hitachi (NYSE:HIT) and Toshiba. However, Intuitive is moving ahead of the pack, and its converts appear smitten.

That last point isn't just an opinion. This past quarter, Intuitive's service/training and accessories revenue grew quicker than its system installations. In other words, the systems in place are being used increasingly often.

So what do you think will happen in three months? Will Wall Street pump up and finally put up a fight? If the trend is your friend, it looks like analysts' wrists will go slack for the 20th time in a row.

Some more Intuitive thinking for you:

Intuitive Surgical has been singled out to Rule Breakers readers three times, dating back to the April 2005 issue. Discover all of David Gardner's future-focused growth picks with a free 30-day trial.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz would never take on a robot in a game of skill. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.