* Fourth quarter EPS $4.25 vs Street view $4.04
* Revenue up 23 pct to $609 million, shares rise 8.3 pct
* Company sees 2013 revenue up 16 to 19 pct vs 2012
By Bill Berkrot
Jan 22 Intuitive Surgical Inc reported
higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday on
increased sales of its da Vinci surgical robots and a rise in
gynecologic procedures using the pricy machines.
Intuitive shares rose more than 8 percent after the company
announced its quarterly results.
Intuitive issued its first forecasts for 2013, saying it
expects procedure growth of 20 to 23 percent and revenue growth
of 16 to 19 percent over 2012 levels, with the second half of
the year likely to be stronger than the first.
"The guidance leaves room for upside, so I think we're going
to see another year of good earnings and see them continue to
beat estimates in 2013," said Mizuho Securities analyst Michael
The company reported a net profit of $175 million, or $4.25
per share, compared with $151 million, or $3.75 per share, a
year ago, topping analysts' average expectations by 21 cents,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 23 percent to $609 million, topping Wall
Street's estimate of $584.4 million, driven by the sale of 175
da Vinci systems in the quarter at a price of about $1.5 million
each and procedure growth of 25 percent.
The 175 da Vincis sold was up from 152 in the year-ago
quarter and 155 in the previous quarter. The company said 114 of
the da Vincis went to repeat customers and that it sold 24 in
Europe, up from 13 in the previous quarter.
Still, the company cautioned that challenging economic
conditions in Europe were likely to persist for the next several
Intuitive now has a total of 2,584 da Vinci systems placed
Instruments and accessories sales rose 29 percent to $254
million, with instrument and accessory revenue at about $2,050
Growth in da Vinci procedures was led by increased
gynecology and general surgeries in the United States and was
partially offset by continued declines in prostatectomies, the
The 25 percent growth was a touch better than Intuitive had
signaled in October, when it lowered its 2012 forecast to 24
General surgeries, such as colon and kidney surgeries, with
da Vincis rose to 42,000 in 2012 from 15,000 a year earlier,
while 176,000 da Vinci hysterectomies were performed in 2012,
the company said.
"They've go a lot of momentum in the general surgery area,"
said Matson. The number performed was "way ahead of what I had
modeled. They're doing really well there and that's important
because it's a huge opportunity for them."
U.S. prostatectomies, long the company's bread and butter,
fell 17 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. They were up 2
percent from the prior quarter, but Intuitive management on a
conference call with investors and analysts said it was "not in
position to declare an end point to its decline."
Prostate surgeries have been down in part due to a decline
in prostate cancer screening in the United States and due to a
strategy known as watchful waiting in which treatment is delayed
while the cancer is observed.
Japan remains a potential bright spot for the company going
forward. It sold 10 da Vinci system in Japan in the quarter and
said positive reimbursement decisions in Japan contributed to an
early increase in procedures there.
The company is still seeking approvals for instruments and
advanced da Vinci systems in Japan as well as reimbursement for
"We expect progress in Japan to proceed in steps," Chief
Executive Gary Guthart said.
Intuitive Surgical shares, which were already up nearly 6
percent this year, rose to $562 in after hours trading from
their Nasdaq close at $518.49.