Robotic Surgery Gigant Slips 10% As Covid Disruptions Continue


Intuitive surgical (ISRG) reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, sending ISRG shares slipping despite in-line sales.


During the December quarter, the robotic surgery giant earned $1.23 per share, down about 5% year-over-year. That fell two cents short of analysts’ projections.

Revenue was in line with Intuitive Surgical’s pre-announcement of $1.66 billion, though a hair short of Wall Street’s $1.67 billion call. Turnover increased by 7%.

In after-hours action in today’s stock market, ISRG shares fell 10.5% close to 231. The shares gained a fraction during the regular session to close at 257.98.

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ISRG Stock: Covid Outages Continue

The company noted that it continues to experience disruptions due to the Covid pandemic. Overall, the number of procedures performed with Intuitive Surgical’s most famous system, da Vinci, increased by 18%. On a year-over-year basis, litigation increased 14% from Q4 2019 to the same period last year.

Procedure growth is an important measure of the strength of one-time instrument and accessory sales. During the December quarter, sales of those items increased 12% to $941 million.

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“The fourth quarter of 2022 reflected a resurgence of Covid-19 in China, which negatively impacted procedure volumes in the region,” Intuitive Surgical said in a press release. “The fourth quarter of 2021 also reflected Covid-19 disruptions later in the quarter in the US and Europe, which impacted our procedures.”

In total, Intuitive Surgical placed 369 new da Vinci systems in hospitals during the fourth quarter. But bearish for ISRG stock, that was down 4% year over year.

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Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.


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