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Intuitive Dominates in its 1Q18 Earnings

Despite the rumblings made by looming competition in the surgical robotics space, Intuitive Surgical remains unbothered and delivers solid quarter earnings, beating Wall Street expectations.

Omar Ford

April 18, 2018

2 Min Read
Intuitive Dominates in its 1Q18 Earnings
QuinceMedia/Pixabay

The competition might be mounting in the surgical robotics space, but it isn’t having much of an impact on Intuitive Surgical - yet. The Sunnyvale, CA-based company managed to beat out Wall Street analysts' expectations in its latest quarterly earnings.

Intuitive brought in about $848 million in the first quarter of 2018. This was a 25% increase over the $680 million the company earned this time last year.

“We had a strong first quarter in pursuit of our mission with customer use of our systems at the top of our growth range, continuing momentum in new system placements, and stepwise progress in the development of markets outside the U.S., said Gary Guthart, president and CEO of Intuitive, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “While we're pleased with our performance in the quarter the opportunity for improving in surgery is substantial and much more remains.”

Intuitive earned about $2.44 per share, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of $2.07. Shares of the company were up 5.3% to $458.50 after the first quarter results were reported.

Intuitive's surgical platform, the da Vinci, originally gained FDA clearance in 2000. However, a lot has changed in the space since then and after years of being the sole player in the market, other medtech firms are now entering.

Just last year, TransEnterix received a monumental clearance from FDA that fundamentally changed the surgical robotics landscape. The Morrisville, NC-based company received an FDA nod for the Senhance Surgical Robotic system, the first new market entrant into the field of abdominal survival robotics since 2000. TransEnterix acquired the system in 2015.

Earlier this week, Vicarious Surgical said in a release, it had raised $16.7 million to develop its surgical robotics platform. The Cambrige, MA-based company said its platform combines virtual reality with human-like surgical robotics to enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery through a single micro-incision.

Google’s Verily Life Sciences is also vying to get into the surgical robotics market, through a joint venture with Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon. The companies have formed Verb Surgical, which is working to develop a digital robotic surgery platform.

Medtronic has also announced plans for a surgical robotics system. However, the Dublin-based company revealed in February the first uses of the surgical robot on humans would probably be pushed to 2019. Originally, the company said the first view of the platform could come sometime this year.

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].

 

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