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Intuitive Surgical Shows Improvement in Q4 But Warns of Ongoing ‘Adverse Impact’ of COVID-19

The company expects "continued uncertainty around the scope and duration of the pandemic globally."

Video source: YouTube, Intuitive

Intuitive Surgical reported higher earnings and revenue during the fourth quarter of 2020 after the robotic surgical systems maker saw a pickup in procedure volume. 

On Thursday, the California-based company reported fourth quarter profit of $365 million, or $3.02 per share, up from $358 million, or $2.99 per share, during the same period a year ago.

Fourth quarter revenue was $1.33 billion, a 4% increase from the final three months of 2019, and a 23% sequential rise from the third quarter of 2020. 

In a statement accompanying its earnings report, Intuitive Surgical said revenue growth was driven by an increase in procedure volume but offset by fewer system placements due to delays in surgical procedures as hospitals focused on treating COVID-19 patients.  

Chief executive officer Gary Guthart said, “Procedures grew 6% year over year for the fourth quarter and 1% for the full year over 2019, resulting in approximately 1.25 million procedures in 2020. We placed 326 systems in the quarter, down from 336 systems in Q4 of 2019. For the full year, we placed 936 systems in 2020, down from 1,119 systems in 2019.”

Despite the quarterly gains, the company said it is difficult to know how 2021 will unfold.

“The resurgence of COVID-19, particularly later in the fourth quarter and into January, has had, and will likely continue to have, an adverse impact on the company’s procedure volumes,” the company stated in its release. “Due to the continued uncertainty around the scope and duration of the pandemic globally, we cannot, at this time, reliably estimate the future impact on our operations and financial results.”


Source: Equities News