Three months ago the robotic surgery pioneer posted a Street-beating 4th quarter, reporting 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.
For the full year, Intuitive logged $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. Analysts consensu forecast was for 2011 EPS of $11.8.
Last week ISRG shares hit of $554.13 apiece, a historical peak and the latest in a string of 52-week highs that’s drawn bullish reviews on The Street. This week Wall Street is looking for Q1 EPS of $3.14 on $465 million in sales – the equivalent of 21% year-over-year earnings growth and a 20% top-line addition. Given the propensity for Intuitive’s management, led by CEO Gary Guthart, to lowball is guidance, however, it’s a safe bet that Intuitive will once again exceed expectations Tuesday.
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