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Intuitive Surgical's robot surgery system drives Q3 profit growth

Intuitive Surgical Inc. reported a year-over-year increase in earnings for the third quarter following growth in procedures using the company's robot-assisted da Vinci surgical systems.

Non-GAAP net income attributable to the U.S. healthcare equipment company was $337 million, or $2.83 per share, up from $324.9 million, or $2.78 per share, in the same period a year ago. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was $2.66.

On a GAAP basis, net income attributable to Intuitive Surgical for the quarter was $292.5 million, or $2.45 per share, versus $299 million, or $2.56 per share, for the same period in 2017.

Intuitive's revenue grew about 14% to $921 million in the third quarter, compared to $808 million for the same quarter of 2017.

Gary Guthart, president and CEO of Intuitive Surgical, said in the company's Oct. 18 earnings release that he is pleased with the strong third-quarter procedure growth and da Vinci system placements. Worldwide, da Vinci procedures grew about 20% compared to the third quarter of 2017, based on growth in U.S. general surgery procedures and worldwide urologic procedures. Instrument and accessories revenue increased year over year about 21% to $486 million, compared to $401 million in 2017, stemming from an increase in da Vinci procedure volume. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive Surgical shipped 231 da Vinci surgical systems during the quarter, an increase from 169 in the same period in 2017.

Intuitive Surgical ended the third quarter with $4.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents and investments, recording a $311 million increase during the quarter, driven mainly through cash generated from operations.