Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Intuitive Surgical outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The company’s robotic platform – da Vinci procedures –recorded solid growth in recent times. Higher worldwide da Vinci procedures led by growth in U.S. general surgery procedures and global urologic procedures is a positive. A regulatory approval for the Sure Form 60 buoys optimism. Earlier this year, the company submitted a premarket notification to the FDA for the Ion endoluminal system. Management is also optimistic about the company’s collaboration with InTouch Health. On the flipside, the company expects outside U.S. sales to be a bit lumpy in the quarters ahead. These markets are in early stages of adoption. Intense competition in niche space as well as long sale and purchase order cycles of da Vinci unit has been currently plaguing the company.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on ISRG. Piper Jaffray Companies upped their target price on shares of Intuitive Surgical from $613.00 to $625.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. BTIG Research restated a hold rating on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a research note on Sunday, October 21st. Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $560.00 target price on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Raymond James upped their target price on shares of Intuitive Surgical from $620.00 to $630.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity upgraded shares of Intuitive Surgical from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their target price for the company from $550.00 to $610.00 in a research note on Friday, October 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $552.59.

NASDAQ:ISRG opened at $489.57 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $55.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 68.09, a PEG ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 1.02. Intuitive Surgical has a 1-year low of $359.75 and a 1-year high of $581.12.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 18th. The medical equipment provider reported $2.83 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.66 by $0.17. The company had revenue of $920.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $916.22 million. Intuitive Surgical had a net margin of 22.31% and a return on equity of 18.79%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.77 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Intuitive Surgical will post 9.52 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, COO Salvatore Brogna sold 2,652 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $557.39, for a total transaction of $1,478,198.28. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 2,049 shares in the company, valued at $1,142,092.11. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP David J. Rosa sold 32,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $500.86, for a total transaction of $16,277,950.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 44,208 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,142,018.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 47,311 shares of company stock worth $24,144,846. 2.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ISRG. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 0.4% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,313,421 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $4,771,903,000 after purchasing an additional 29,260 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 2.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,758,427 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $4,453,337,000 after purchasing an additional 149,491 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 19.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,629,648 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $3,172,155,000 after purchasing an additional 1,068,107 shares during the period. Capital World Investors increased its stake in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 6.8% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 2,942,531 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,689,013,000 after purchasing an additional 188,476 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 119.5% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,856,195 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,639,456,000 after purchasing an additional 1,554,896 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.68% of the company’s stock.

About Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical, Inc designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories. The company's da Vinci surgical System translates a surgeon's natural hand movements, which are performed on instrument controls at a console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small incisions or ports.

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