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Wedbush Sees 'Stabilized' Market For Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

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Intuitive Surgical, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: ISRG) end market for its da Vinci line of robotic surgical instruments has stabilized following a long period of slowing sales, an analyst said Friday.

Attending a conference on minimally invasive surgery, Wedbush's Tao Levy said he heard "limited da Vinci pushback" from surgeons in comparison to a year ago when sales were slowing.

Gynecology surgeons are "eagerly awaiting" marketing approval expected later this year for Intuitive's instrument kit for hysterectomies, Levy said, adding he thinks the product could "shift procedures toward the da Vinci" from other equipment.

Robotic surgery curricula for surgeon training is becoming increasingly common according to Levy.

Eventually, "every newly trained surgeon will have had some exposure to the da Vinci system," making the technology "even more ubiquitous," said Levy, who rates Intuitive Buy with a $500 target.

Intuitive beat second-quarter estimates in July, restoring investor confidence after it saw a big sales slow-down starting last year on uncertain cost effectiveness of its equipment as well as a pause in capital spending by hospitals. Intuitive is expected to post third-quarter results in October.

Earlier this year Intuitive took a charge of $67 million for product liability claims related to its instruments recalled in 2013 and another Intuitive device withdrawn in 2012. It took a further charge of of $9.6 million in the period ended June 30 for the same purpose.

Intuitive traded recently at $479.70 a share, up 2.06 percent.

Latest Ratings for ISRG

DateFirmActionFromTo
Jan 2017Evercore ISI GroupDowngradesBuyHold
Oct 2016Wells FargoInitiates Coverage OnOutperform
Aug 2016Raymond JamesInitiates Coverage onOutperform

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