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Intuitive surgical delivers Stellar Q1 2024 performance

Intuitive Surgical Inc., the pioneering leader in surgical robotics, has once again demonstrated its industry dominance by posting exceptional first-quarter results that surpassed Wall Street's consensus forecast. In a testament to its continued growth trajectory, the company has also increased its forecast for full-year procedure growth, further solidifying its position as a driving force in the rapidly evolving field of robotic-assisted surgery.



For the three months ended March 31, 2024, Intuitive Surgical reported profits of $545 million, or $1.51 per diluted share, marking a remarkable 53% increase compared to the first quarter of 2023. The company's total revenue for the quarter reached an impressive $1.89 billion, up 11% from the same period a year ago.


This outstanding performance can be attributed to the growth in the volume of robot-assisted surgical procedures and an increase in the company's installed base of systems. Global da Vinci procedures, the company's flagship robotic surgical platform, grew approximately 16% from the same quarter a year ago, underscoring the increasing adoption and confidence in Intuitive Surgical's cutting-edge technology.


During the quarter, Intuitive Surgical placed 313 da Vinci surgical systems, on par with the 312 systems placed in the prior-year period. Notably, eight of these placements were the company's highly anticipated next-generation da Vinci 5 systems, marking a significant milestone in the company's ongoing pursuit of innovation and technological advancement.


"The core measures of our business remained healthy this quarter, as we reached meaningful milestones across several parts of our business," said Intuitive Surgical CEO Gary Guthart. "We are pleased by feedback from our measured da Vinci 5 launch, as well as the continued adoption of SP and Ion, and we remain focused on delivering the goals we share with our customers, including improving patient outcomes."


In addition to the impressive growth in system placements and procedure volumes, Intuitive Surgical also reported an 18% increase in sales of instruments and accessories, reaching $1.16 billion. This increase was driven by the growth of da Vinci procedure volume and a remarkable 90% growth in Ion procedure volume, highlighting the company's commitment to diversifying its product portfolio and exploring new frontiers in robotic-assisted surgery.


Adjusted to exclude one-time items, Intuitive Surgical's earnings per share (EPS) were $1.50, surpassing the Street's expectations of $1.41 on sales of $1.87 billion. Buoyed by its strong performance, the company increased its forecast for full-year procedure growth from a 13% to 16% range to 14% to 17%, reflecting the growing demand for its cutting-edge solutions and the increasing adoption of robotic-assisted surgery worldwide.


"The low end of the range assumes further weakness and bariatric procedures along with challenges in China from increasing provincial robotic competition and delayed tenders impacting capital placements and therefore procedure growth," explained Brian King, head of investor relations at Intuitive Surgical. "We also assume there is no benefit patient backlog in the year."


"At the high end of the range, we assume bariatrics continues at flat to slightly positive growth rates, and factors in China don't have a significant impact on our business," he added. "In addition, we assume any backlog of patients would decline throughout the year."


Investors reacted positively to Intuitive Surgical's strong results, with the company's shares (ISRG) rising 3% to $385 apiece in after-hours trading, further solidifying its position as a leader in the rapidly evolving field of surgical robotics.


As the company continues to push the boundaries of innovation, Intuitive Surgical's executive vice president and chief digital officer, Brian Miller, will be delivering a highly anticipated keynote address at the upcoming DeviceTalks Boston event, co-located with the Robotics Summit & Expo. Scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET on May 1, Miller's keynote will provide valuable insights into the company's vision for the future of robotic-assisted surgery and the role of digital technologies in driving advancements in this field.


DeviceTalks Boston and the Robotics Summit & Expo, taking place on May 1 and 2 at the Boston Convention Center, are shaping up to be the largest events of their kind, featuring over 200 exhibitors, various networking opportunities, a Women in Robotics breakfast, a career fair, an engineering theater, a startup showcase, and much more. Registration for this must-attend event is now open.


As Intuitive Surgical continues to chart new frontiers in surgical robotics, its unwavering commitment to innovation, patient outcomes, and technological excellence has solidified its position as an industry leader. With a strong start to 2024 and an ambitious outlook for the year ahead, the company is poised to shape the future of healthcare, revolutionizing surgical procedures and setting new standards for precision, safety, and efficacy.

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