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What Are Intuitive Surgical’s Key Growth Drivers in 2019?


Oct. 8 2019, Updated 7:09 p.m. ET

da Vinci placements

In the first quarter, Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) placed 235 da Vinci systems, a YoY (year-over-year) rise of 27.03%. However, its Systems revenue in the first quarter was $248 million, a YoY rise of 6%. According to the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call, the difference in the YoY growth in its placements and Systems revenue was attributable to multiple factors, including operating leases and trade-ins accounting for a higher percentage of total placements, the rising adoption of da Vinci X systems, increasing placements through distributors, and volume-based discounts offered to certain customers.

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The da Vinci Xi and da Vinci X systems accounted for 67% and 25%, respectively, of the total systems placed in the first quarter. On the contrary, da Vinci Xi and da Vinci X systems accounted for 73% and 18%, respectively, of the total systems placed in the fourth quarter. The company also placed six da Vinci SP systems in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, Intuitive Surgical managed to report trade-ins close to 36% of total system placements, significantly higher than 31% reported in the first quarter of 2018 and 28% reported in the fourth quarter of 2018. According to Intuitive’s first-quarter earnings conference call, this trend was driven by the desire of existing customers to access or standardize to the fourth-generation of the da Vinci system.

Consumables sales

Intuitive Surgical reported $552 million in instrument and accessory revenue in the first quarter, a YoY rise of 20% and ahead of the 18% YoY rise in global procedure growth. In the first quarter, consumables accounted for almost 56.67% of the company’s total revenue. This highlights the recurring nature of a major portion of its revenue. In the first quarter, Intuitive Surgical reported instrument and accessory revenue per procedure of $1,960, a YoY rise of 2% and a sequential rise of 4%.


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