Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) posted a Street-beating 4th quarter, the surgical robot maker’s shares still slid on slower procedure growth.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company posted $1.76 billion in sales during 2011, a 24% spike compared with 2010, placing 534 da Vinci robot-assisted surgery systems during the year – a 21.1% increase.
Although da Vinci procedure volumes increased, its growth slowed modestly from about 30% during the 1st 3 quarters of 2011 to 27% in Q4.
That projection is in line with Leerink Swann’s estimate, but the investment house warned that it’s "possibly disappointing to some investors."
"ISRG continues to drive overall impressively strong results, despite challenging med-tech market conditions," Leerink’s analysts wrote. "And with general surgery possibly on the horizon, ISRG continues to have some substantial growth opportunities. But we remain on the sidelines on ISRG shares."
ISRG shares sank 7.7% to $437.90 as of about noon today, after hitting a 52-week high of $476.49 yesterday.
Intuitive beat analysts’ forecast of $11.89 in earnings per share for 2011, posting $495.1 million in net profit, or $12.32 per diluted share. That’s an impressive 30% spike from $381.80 during 2010 ($9.47 per diluted share).
The company made "substantial progress" in 4 main areas in 2011, CEO Gary Guthart said during the conference call: improved market penetration in gynecology and urology; expanded reach in Europe and Asia; "crisp execution" in product development efforts; and developing a footprint in emerging procedures in the thoracic, transoral, colorectal and general surgery markets.
Worldwide procedure volume grew about 29%. Recurring revenues grew to $980 million, making up 56% of total revenue and representing a 30% increase over 2010.
For 2012, Guthart said, Intuitive plans to focus on continued growth in gynecology and urology, launching newly cleared single-site and vessel sealing devices, building clinical programs for emerging procedures and strengthening the firm’s presence in international markets.
For the 4th quarter, Intuitive posted sales of $496.8 million, up 28% from $389.3 million during the same time last year. Earnings reached $151.2 million, or $3.75 per diluted share, compared to $121.2 million, or $3.02 per diluted share, during Q4 2010.