Fly Intel: What to watch in Intuitive Surgical earnings report

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) is scheduled to report the results of its second fiscal quarter after the market close on Thursday, July 18, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm EDT. What to watch: 1. PROCEDURAL GROWTH: Along with its first quarter report in April, Intuitive Surgical tightened its fiscal year 2019 procedure growth view to 15%-17% from 13%-17%. 2. GROWTH PROSPECTS: Earlier in the week, Intuitive announced it had purchased Scholly Fiberoptic's robotic endoscope business. Intuitive said the acquisition will integrate Scholly's robotic endoscope manufacturing line, and two Scholly sites into Intuitive operations: the robotic-related manufacturing line from Denzlingen, Germany; the manufacturing site in Biebertal, Germany; and the repair site in Worcester, Massachusetts. Intuitive will integrate into its team approximately 200 staff from these three sites over the next 18 months. "Scholly has been an important and valued vendor for Intuitive since the very early days of the company," said Intuitive senior VP Brian Miller. According to Zacks, this buyout is likely to support the da Vinci Surgical system through the addition of important aspects of da Vinci's visualization system. 3. FUTURE OF ROBOTIC SURGERY: According to a recent story from Express Healthcare, a negative for robotic surgery "remains the added costs associated with the procedure." The article said, "The monopoly of Intuitive Surgicals, which has generated over 1,500 patents, has contributed to this. In 2019, several patents are due to expire, opening up the space for significant competition with a potential for cost reduction. The Telelap Alf-X, from TransEnterix (TRXC), was approved by the US FDA for gynecological and certain general surgery procedures last year and systems have been installed in the US, Italy, and Japan."

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