The rise of minimally invasive surgery means less downtime for patients. It also means less time in the hospital, fewer complications and minimal discomfort and scarring. Minimally invasive surgery has transformed healthcare. And Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG) is one of the leading companies providing the necessary equipment in this revolution. The pandemic affected Intuitive surgical stock prices. However, surgical practices are normalizing. Intuitive believes that “minimally invasive care is life-enhancing care.”

Intuitive Surgical stock outlook.

Intuitive Surgical

Founded in 1995 and based in Sunnyvale, California, Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and sells robotic surgical systems. Along with these state-of-the-art systems, Intuitive Surgical provides ongoing training and support for surgeons and operating room staff. In addition, the company “strives to make surgery more effective, less invasive and easier on surgeons, patients and their families.”

Keep reading for more info on Intuitive Surgical stock.

Company Products

Intuitive Surgical’ s best-known product is the da Vinci robotic surgical system. However, robots do not perform surgery. Instead, this system allows surgeons to sit at a computer console beside a patient. They are able to guide the miniaturized instruments inside the body performing the minimally invasive procedure. Tiny, wristed instruments and a minute camera are inserted into one to two mm. incisions in the body. While these instruments move in a manner similar to the human hand, they have a greater range of motion.  The surgeon sees the surgical area via highly-magnified, high-definition 3D views.

Surgeons use the da Vinci system for general surgery, as well as surgery involving the following:

  • Cardiac
  • Colorectal
  • Gynecology
  • Head and neck
  • Thoracic
  • Urology

The da Vinci system is used most often for general surgery. However, gynecological and urological surgeries are the next most common operations performed. Altogether, there are five da Vinci system categories.

The Ion endoluminal system is a robotic-assisted platform for minimally invasive peripheral lung biopsies. The system is designed to fit into a surgeon’s bronchoscopy suite. And it integrates with existing technologies. With an annual lung cancer incidence of 200,000 in the U.S., 300,000 in Europe and one million in China, the demand for Ion should remain strong.

Intuitive Surgical stock received FDA clearance for its 8 mm SureForm 30 Curved-Tip Stapler in December 2021. To clarify, this stapler reloads for use in various types of surgeries.

In addition, Intuitive Surgical has an entire ecosystem of related and constantly upgraded products. For instance, there are more than 150 fourth-generation instruments and accessories for supporting surgical procedures. Eight of these instrument and accessories product launches took place in 2021. The number of hospitals engaged in custom hospital analytics provided by Intuitive Surgery data grew by 30%.

Stock Performance

COVID-19 hit Intuitive Surgical stock hard. Healthcare systems worldwide focused on the pandemic. Minimally invasive surgeries were put on the back burner as the pandemic spread throughout the world. However, that is unlikely to be a problem in 2022.

In 2021, Intuitive Surgical grew 28% compared to 2020. That was true even though COVID-19 was an issue in the fourth quarter, limiting the number of procedures performed. Revenue was $1.55 billion, up 16.67% year-over-year (YOY). Net income was 380.6 million, up 4.22% YOY.

The advanced instrument revenue trend for the U.S. indicates a five-year revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33%. For outside of the U.S., the five-year revenue CAGR was 43%.

In August 2021, the Intuitive Surgical Board of Directors approved a 3-for-1 stock split, with trading to begin on a split-adjusted basis as of October 5, 2021. On October 1, share prices dropped after a Citigroup analyst downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.

As of April 14, 2022, the 52-week Intuitive Surgical stock high was $369.69 and the low was $254.20. In addition, Intuitive Surgical stock closed at $279.61 on that date.

Intuitive Surgical Stock Outlook

At the 2022 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, held January 12, Intuitive Surgical’ s CEO Gary Guthart, Ph.D. discussed the company’s most recent performance and its future goals. For example, in 2021, there were 1.5 million procedures performed, 3,000 peer-reviewed articles published, and 1,300 da Vinci systems installed. Growth in the Asia Pacific market was particularly robust. The United States remained the primary market for the da Vinci systems, with Europe and Asia each making up about one-quarter of sales and installations.

Worldwide, the company expects da Vinci procedures to increase between 11 and 15% in 2022. Hospitals often have more than one version of the da Vinci available.

Along with COVID-19, Intuitive Surgical stock expects its greatest challenges this year to lie in the realm of supply chain and logistics disruption.

Intuitive Surgical Stock Considerations

Keep in mind that Intuitive Surgical stock has never paid a dividend. It’s a growth company but may not prove the right choice for income-focused investors. On the other hand, the demand for minimally invasive surgery and advanced robotic systems will only continue to grow. An aging population fuels this demand. Along with technology, demographics are the key to Intuitive Surgical’s growth.