Intuitive Surgical Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 19, 2012. Intuitive Surgical designs and manufactures da Vinci Surgical Systems, EndoWrist instruments and other surgical accessories.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $3.34 per share, a rise of 10.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $3.23. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from $3.36 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 25.6% versus last year to $11.89.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 29 cents, reporting profit of $3.05 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $2.76 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $483.7 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 24.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $1.74 billion for the year, a rise of 23.4% from last year’s revenue of $1.41 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Intuitive Surgical with eight of 13 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 41.3% to $122.4 million ($3.05 a share) from $86.6 million ($2.14 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 29.7% to $446.7 million from $344.4 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 22.4%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 29.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 32.4% in the second quarter and 22% in the first quarter.

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), The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), and OLYMPUS CORPORATION (OCPNY).

Stock Price Performance: During October 18, 2011 to January 13, 2012, the stock price had risen $76.68 (20%) from $382.76 to $459.44. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 5, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 9.8% (+$33.97) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 15, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 7.9% (-$35.51) over that span.

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

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