Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) to Sell

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Contraction in Intuitive Surgical’s gross and operating margins in recent times is worrisome. Management expects margins to fluctuate due to newer product mixes and surging operating expenses. Additionally, the da Vinci system is in the early stages of adoption in some of the markets outside the United States. Intense competition in the global MedTech space adds to the woes. On the positive side, the company’s flagship da Vinci procedures recorded solid growth in recent times. The company looks to accelerate its business in China, following the clearance of da Vinci Xi. Management is also optimistic about the 510(k) submission for the TransOral Robotic Surgery and the Phase I launch of da Vinci SP. Strong exposure to robotics and medical mechatronics continues to drive the stock. Intuitive Surgical outperformed the industry in a year’s time.”

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A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on ISRG. Northland Securities reissued a “sell” rating and set a $375.00 price target on shares of Intuitive Surgical in a research report on Thursday, January 10th. BidaskClub downgraded Intuitive Surgical from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $560.00 target price on Intuitive Surgical and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 28th. Citigroup decreased their target price on Intuitive Surgical from $601.00 to $560.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus decreased their target price on Intuitive Surgical from $600.00 to $570.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $566.40.

Shares of NASDAQ:ISRG opened at $557.16 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $63.46 billion, a PE ratio of 58.71, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.25 and a beta of 1.10. Intuitive Surgical has a 52 week low of $393.57 and a 52 week high of $581.12.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The medical equipment provider reported $2.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.07 by ($0.11). Intuitive Surgical had a net margin of 30.29% and a return on equity of 18.11%. The firm had revenue of $1.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.05 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.54 EPS. Intuitive Surgical’s revenue was up 17.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Intuitive Surgical will post 10.07 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Jamie Samath sold 458 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $500.03, for a total value of $229,013.74. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 198 shares in the company, valued at $99,005.94. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, COO Salvatore Brogna sold 2,090 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $551.79, for a total value of $1,153,241.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 42,284 shares of company stock worth $22,205,382. Insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ISRG. Laurel Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Intuitive Surgical during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Intuitive Surgical during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Financial Advantage Inc. acquired a new stake in Intuitive Surgical during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Moody National Bank Trust Division acquired a new stake in Intuitive Surgical during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $38,000. Finally, BDO Wealth Advisors LLC raised its stake in Intuitive Surgical by 166.7% during the fourth quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 80 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.78% of the company’s stock.

Intuitive Surgical Company Profile

Intuitive Surgical, Inc designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories. Its da Vinci Surgical System transforms the surgeon's natural hand movements outside the body into corresponding micro-movements inside the patient's body. The company's da Vinci Surgical System include surgeon's consoles, patient-side carts, 3-D vision systems, da Vinci skills simulators, da Vinci Xi integrated table motions, and Firefly fluorescence imaging products that enable surgeons to perform various surgical procedures, including gynecologic, urologic, general, cardiothoracic, and head and neck surgical procedures.

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