--Intuitive Surgical tops first-quarter sales and earnings estimates
--Sales of da Vinci systems, procedure growth, fuel gains
--Company raises full-year guidance for sales, procedure growth
(Updates throughout with details on results and outlook)
By Jon Kamp
Intuitive Surgical Inc.'s (ISRG) first-quarter earnings rose 38%, beating Wall Street expectations behind climbing sales of the company's da Vinci robotic-surgery machines and growth in procedures.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., company boosted its full-year forecasts for both revenue and procedure growth following the strong quarterly report. Shares--which are trading near all-time high levels and have climbed 18% on the year through Tuesday's close--rose 5.8%, to $576.98 in after-hours trading.
The company's motion-capture robots, which have been heavily used for cancer-treating surgeries, such as hysterectomies and prostate removal, have remained in strong demand despite continued economic turbulence and some sluggishness in Europe. The company sold 140 machines in the recent quarter, up 20 from a year ago, and posted 29% growth in procedures.
The company saw strong growth in both general-surgery and gynecological procedures, Chief Executive Gary Guthart said on a conference call with analysts. Newly introduced da Vinci instruments also helped fuel rising sales.
Intuitive Surgical reported a profit of $143.5 million, or $3.50 a share, up from $104.1 million, or $2.59 a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 28%, to $495.2 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $3.14 on revenue of $464.7 million.
Gross margin edged up to 71.9% from 71.8%.
Revenue from instruments and accessories climbed 32%, reflecting growth in da Vinci procedures and the roll-out of new products. Revenue from service deals for da Vinci machines jumped 27%. Systems revenue, reflecting newly sold machines, grew 24%.
Da Vinci systems sold for nearly $1.5 million, on average, in the recent quarter.
Despite the overall strong sales, company officials said system sales in Europe were disappointing and below historical trends. They indicated the company is working to bolster its marketing efforts there.
"European system sales reflect a challenging economic environment, however, we are also taking steps to improve our execution," Chief Financial Officer Marshall Mohr said on the conference call.
Looking ahead, Intuitive Surgical now anticipates revenue growth of 19% to 21% this year, up from the company's prior 17% to 19% forecast. The company's new guidance calls for procedure growth of 25% to 27%, up from the prior 24% to 26% target.
Analysts had forecast, on average, sales growth of about 18% this year.
-By Jon Kamp, Dow Jones Newswires; 617-654-6728; email@example.com
--Tess Stynes contributed to this article.
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