Intuitive Preview: Set to Beat - Analyst Blog


We expect Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG ) to beat expectations when it reports fourth quarter 2012 results on January 22. 

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Intuitive Surgical is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key ingredients.

Positive Zacks ESP: Expected Surprise Prediction or ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method ), which represents the difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is at +2.5%. This is a meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise for shares.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy): Note that stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings. The sell rated stocks (#4 and #5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Intuitive Surgical's Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Earnings ESP of +2.5% makes us confident of a positive earnings beat this coming announcement.

What is Driving the Better than Expected Earnings?

Intuitive Surgical faces little direct competition in robotic surgery, except from Accuray ( ARAY ) in certain niches. The installed base of Intuitive Surgical continues to grow steadily as hospitals are compelled to upgrade their systems.

The positive trend is seen in the trailing four-quarter average surprise of 14.5%, which was greatly helped by the 28.2% surprise in the last reported quarter.

Other Stocks to Consider

Intuitive Surgical is not the only stock looking up this earnings season. We also see likely earnings beats coming from these two players.

NuVasive, Inc. ( NUVA ) has Earnings ESP of +72.7% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company reports earnings on Feb 26, 2013.

Becton, Dickinson and Company ( BDX ) has Earnings ESP of +3.3% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company reports earnings on Feb 5, 2013.

ACCURAY INC (ARAY): Free Stock Analysis Report

BECTON DICKINSO (BDX): Free Stock Analysis Report

INTUITIVE SURG (ISRG): Free Stock Analysis Report

NUVASIVE INC (NUVA): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ARAY , BDX , ISRG , NUVA

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