Intuitive Surgical takes an after-hours dive on missed Q2 sales prelims

Intuitive Surgical takes an after-hours dive on missed Q2 sales prelims

Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) took a nearly 12% hit in after-hours trading today after the medical device company said it expects to miss its 2nd-quarter sales forecast.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based robotic surgery company said it expects to post sales of roughly $575 million, up 7.3% from the 2nd quarter of 2012 but well shy of analysts’ $630 million expectations.

Those expectations were fueled by Intuitive’s guidance last quarter, of Q2 sales reaching the higher end of its sales growth forecast of 16%-19%, or $621.8 million to $637.8 million.

As a result, ISRG shares were going for $442 apiece in after-hours action tonight as of about 7:30 p.m., down 11.6%.

"While we are disappointed in our performance this quarter, particularly with respect to our capital sales in the U.S., overall procedure performance was solid in a difficult environment. We remain confident in the value that our products and services bring to patients, hospitals and the healthcare system," president & CEO Gary Guthart said in prepared remarks.

Intuitive said the lower-than-expected sales were driven by slowing benign gynecologic procedure volumes and by lower sales of its flagship da Vinci surgical robot. A study published early last year of complication rates for women with endometrial cancer showed that they were roughly the same after standard laparoscopy and robot-assisted surgery, although the robotic procedures each cost about $1,300 more.

"The slowdown in benign gynecologic procedures reflected a number of factors including, but not limited to, reduced hospital admissions and a trend by payers toward encouraging conservative management and treatment in outpatient settings," Intuitive said today in a press release. "Preliminary 2nd-quarter 2013 da Vinci surgical systems revenue is expected to decrease approximately 6% to approximately $215 million from $229 million during the 2nd quarter of 2012."

Intuitive said it sold 143 da Vinci systems during Q2 2013, down from 150 during Q2 2012 – but down 27.4% to 90 system sales in the U.S. during the quarter, compared with 124 U.S. sales during Q2 2012.

"The decline in U.S. system sales was impacted by several factors, including, among other things, increased economic pressure on hospitals, which in turn caused some to defer da Vinci System purchases, and moderating growth in our benign gynecologic procedures," according to the release.

Intuitive is slated to release its full Q2 financials July 18.

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