Zacks Investment Research Lowers Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) to Hold

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, December 20th.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, Intuitive Surgical has been consistently trading above the broader industry. Procedure performance in Asia showed continued strength with solid growth in China, Japan and Korea. Moreover, the company gained significantly on the CE Mark approval for da Vinci X in Europe. The stock has got a further boost on the FDA approval of the same in the recent past. A positive outlook for the coming quarters also raises our confidence in the stock. However, unfavorable foreign exchange movements are impacting the company’s results. Intuitive Surgical expects margins to fluctuate based on the company’s mix of new products, mix of systems in instrument and accessory revenue segments, and the reinstatement of the medical device tax in 2018. The company’s da Vinci Surgical System has a long sale and purchase order cycle which might act against the company’s growth.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on ISRG. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a report on Saturday, November 18th. BidaskClub lowered Intuitive Surgical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a report on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $357.44.

Shares of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) traded down $2.33 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $419.04. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 932,437 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,050,000. Intuitive Surgical has a 1-year low of $217.19 and a 1-year high of $426.98. The company has a market capitalization of $46,950.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 54.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.68 and a beta of 0.47.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The medical equipment provider reported $2.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.99 by $0.78. Intuitive Surgical had a return on equity of 18.20% and a net margin of 30.16%. The business had revenue of $806.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $753.25 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.06 earnings per share. Intuitive Surgical’s revenue was up 18.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Intuitive Surgical will post 7.93 EPS for the current year.

In other Intuitive Surgical news, insider Craig H. Barratt sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $371.18, for a total transaction of $5,567,700.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 7,500 shares in the company, valued at $2,783,850. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Jamie Samath sold 1,564 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $371.19, for a total value of $580,541.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 55,944 shares of company stock valued at $21,432,971 in the last three months. 2.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ISRG. KBC Group NV raised its position in Intuitive Surgical by 3.5% during the second quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 5,314 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $4,970,000 after purchasing an additional 180 shares in the last quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC raised its position in Intuitive Surgical by 15.4% during the second quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC now owns 1,047 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $979,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its holdings in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 179.6% in the second quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 15,100 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $14,124,000 after buying an additional 9,700 shares during the period. GAM Holding AG increased its holdings in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 95.2% in the second quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 8,124 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $7,599,000 after buying an additional 3,962 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 15.0% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 57,151 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $53,458,000 after buying an additional 7,446 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 32.80% of the company’s stock.

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About Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical, Inc (Intuitive) designs, manufactures and markets da Vinci Surgical Systems, and related instruments and accessories. The Company’s da Vinci Surgical System consists of a surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart and a vision system. The da Vinci Surgical System translates a surgeon’s 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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