Intuitive Surgical Inc. Earnings: Profit Rises by Double-Figures for Fifth Consecutive Quarter

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Intuitive Surgical designs and manufactures da Vinci Surgical Systems, EndoWrist instruments and other surgical accessories.

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Intuitive Surgical Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Net income for Intuitive Surgical Inc. rose to $151.2 million ($3.75 per share) vs. $121.2 million ($3.02 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 24.8% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 27.6% to $496.8 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ISRG beat the mean analyst estimate of $3.34 per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $483.7 million.

Quoting Management: “We ended fiscal 2011 with $2,172 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments, reflecting an increase of $563 million during the year, net of $332 million used to repurchase 963,000 shares of common stock. Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Gary Guthart, President and CEO of Intuitive Surgical, said, “We are pleased with our fourth quarter performance. These results reflect continued da Vinci procedure adoption, highlighted by strong growth in our US gynecology business, and a focus on execution by our commercial and product operations teams.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 23.5%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter when revenue rose 29.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 41.3% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 32.4%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 29 cents in the third quarter, by 20 cents in the second quarter, and by 10 cents in the first quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved up from $3.13 a share to $3.16 over the last ninety days. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $11.84 a share to $11.89 over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK), Bovie Medical Corporation (AMEX:BVX), Synovis Life Tech., Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNO), CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE:CRY), Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), Smith & Nephew plc (NYSE:SNN), Vision-Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSCI), CONMED Corporation (NASDAQ:CNMD) and The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at