January 23, 2014 / 9:47 PM / 5 years ago

Intuitive Surgical profit tops Street view despite sales decline

(Reuters) - Intuitive Surgical Inc (ISRG.O) on Thursday reported fourth quarter profit that easily exceeded diminished Wall Street expectations despite another steep decline in sales of its high priced da Vinci surgical robot systems.

The company said net profit fell to $166 million, or $4.28 per share, from a profit of $175 million, or $4.25 per share a year ago. But analysts’ on average were looking for earnings of $3.83 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Intuitive earlier this month at an investor conference pre-announced its sales results for the quarter. Da Vinci sales fell 23 percent to $205 million as the company sold 138 systems compared with 175 a year ago. It was an improvement over the third quarter, however, when 101 of the $1.5 million da Vinci systems were sold.

Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Bernard Orr

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