Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to buy stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. Though surgical-device maker Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG) has been a standout performer since the recession, many investors expect even better times ahead.

In our Motley Fool CAPS community, about 94% of the 3,780 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why the surgical-system maker will thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.

But here at The Motley Fool, we're all for looking at both the good and bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, please read the case against the stock, then weigh in with your own comments below or rate Intuitive Surgical yourself in CAPS.

1. Competitive advantage
Heavy competition can pose serious threats. A slipup in paperwork filing for Boston Scientific's (NYSE: BSX) defibrillators saw it quickly lose market share to rivals St. Jude Medical and Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). And Varian Medical Systems' (NYSE: VAR) new Trilogy Mx could pose stiff competition for Accuray's CyberKnife device. But Intuitive Surgical has the kind of competitive advantage many companies dream of and many CAPS members don't see any direct competition getting in the way of Intuitive Surgical's growth.

2. Repeat business
In addition to benefitting from sales of its da Vinci systems, Intuitive Surgical reaps the benefits of increasing sales of disposable instruments as its installed base of da Vinci systems grows. With the company selling more systems in the first quarter than the same quarter last year, and more growth projected, many CAPS members like the accelerating earnings model.

3. International growth
Many investors see great potential for growth in international sales, which other device makers are experiencing as well. Varian Medical and Medtronic reported higher international revenue in their recent quarters, while Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) medical devices and diagnostics segment saw 16% international sales growth. With Intuitive Surgical just beginning in new markets like Japan, some CAPS members see much of its available market still waiting to be tapped.

To see details of what CAPS members are saying now about Intuitive Surgical, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and have a look, or add your thoughts directly to this story in the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock has more than three reasons why dogs are better than cats. He owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Intuitive Surgical is a Rule Breakers selection. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor selection. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Medtronic. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Johnson & Johnson. The Fool's disclosure policy should have known to stay away from a drink aptly called "strip and go naked."