Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), the leading maker of medical surgical robots, has not quite made it out of the recession quite yet. While revenue and profit growth were strong for the first quarter (Q1) of 2010, sales in Europe were slow as capital spending at hospitals there turned cautious.
At its Q1 analyst conference on Thursday, April 15, 2010 Intuitive reported revenues of $328.6 million, up 2% sequentially from $323.0 million and up 74% from $188.4 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Net income was $85.3 million, up 10% sequentially from $77.6 million and up over 200% from $28.1 million year-earlier.
At an average of $1.45 million per robotic da Vinci system, you can see why each robot is a major decision for a hospital. I think on the whole Q1 was quite positive since typically the March quarter is a slow one for capital equipment purchases. A total of 104 systems were purchased.
Q2 is another matter. In Q1, 7 systems were sold to Japan, the first to that country. These are really for experimentation since the Japanese have not approved reimbursements yet for robotic surgeries. Intuitive does not expect to sell many more systems to Japan until reimbursements are approved. So if Europe remains slow, Q2 could see a downtick in number of systems sold unless U.S. sales ramp rapidly.
Intuitive is working with surgeons to increase the types of surgeries the robots can be used for. This process should keep sales growing for some time, so they are hiring sales and support personel to keep up with the demand.
For a more detailed look at first quarter results, see my Intuitive Surgical Q1 2010 analyst conference summary.
See also the Intuitive Surgical corporate site.