Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) to “Buy”

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $615.00 price target on the medical equipment provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 18.48% from the stock’s previous close.

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 research firms have also weighed in on ISRG. Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of Intuitive Surgical from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $600.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on shares of Intuitive Surgical from $575.00 to $635.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 12th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Intuitive Surgical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 22nd. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $620.00 price objective on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $560.00 price objective on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a research note on Friday, October 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Intuitive Surgical currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $556.01.

NASDAQ:ISRG opened at $519.09 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $59.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 72.20, a P/E/G ratio of 3.75 and a beta of 1.03. Intuitive Surgical has a 12 month low of $359.75 and a 12 month high of $581.12.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The medical equipment provider reported $2.83 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.66 by $0.17. The business 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 business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $2.77 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Intuitive Surgical will post 9.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Jamie Samath sold 227 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $541.86, for a total transaction of $123,002.22. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 138 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $74,776.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP David J. Rosa sold 32,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $500.86, for a total transaction of $16,277,950.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,208 shares in the company, valued at $22,142,018.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 72,491 shares of company stock worth $37,767,784 over the last three months. 2.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. CENTRAL TRUST Co lifted its position in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 26.4% during the third quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 460 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $264,000 after purchasing an additional 96 shares in the last quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. lifted its position in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 25.7% during the third quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 14,564 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $8,360,000 after purchasing an additional 2,977 shares in the last quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. lifted its position in shares of Intuitive Surgical by 3.7% during the third quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. now owns 77,953 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $44,745,000 after purchasing an additional 2,754 shares in the last quarter. Signition LP bought a new stake in Intuitive Surgical in the second quarter worth about $240,000. Finally, United Capital Management of KS Inc. bought a new stake in Intuitive Surgical in the third quarter worth about $205,000. 84.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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