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Friday, 30 April 2004
April 30, 2004 Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

Hello Friends! Thanks again for stopping by if this is a return visit. If you are new to the visit, consider visiting the Bob's Advice for Stocks main website where I go over some of the criteria I use to look at stocks. You will find links there for my 2003 and 2004 selections and the updated prices. So go ahead and explore. Please remember that I am an amateur investor myself and just like to write about stocks. Thus, you should do your own investigation on all financial matters discussed on this site and discuss any investment decisions with your investment advisors to make sure they are timely and appropriate for you. For questions, or comments, please email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

ANYHOW, now that I have THAT out of the way, phew....where was I? Oh yes, looking at stocks again today....so what else is new?.....and I came across what appeared initially to be a stock that wasn't quite meeting criteria, but the more I looked the more I liked! Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) is having a nice day today trading at $16.35 as I write, up $1.22 on the day or 8.06%. I do not own any shares of this company nor do I have any leveraged positions. (like options). According to the Yahoo "Profile", ISRG "...manufactures and markets the da Vinci Surgical System, an advanced surgical system for use in performing what the Company calls intuitive surgery....The da Vinci Surgical System seamlessly translates the surgeon's natural hand movements on instrument controls at a console into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small puncture incisions, or ports." Hey, is this COOL or what?

Guess what? What drove this stock higher was what we are seeing this time of year: a good earnings report. They announced yesterday, 4/29/04, after the close, that their 1st quarter sales jumped 41% from $19.2 million for the first quarter of 2003 to $27.1 million for 1st quarter 2004. Net income came in at $.9 million or $.02/diluted share compared to a net loss of $(2.3) million or $(.12)/diluted share for the first quarter of 2003. We may be catching this company just at the CUSP of profitability....just as it turns from a losing venture into a profitable venture...I love stocks like that!

Looking at "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we find that revenue was negligible in 1998, $10.2 million in 1999 and has increased steadily to $85.2 million in the trailing twelve months.

The company HAS previously been losing money, with $(.94)/share lost in 2001, $(1.02)/share in 2002, and $(.37)/share in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been negative, but has improved recently from $(16) million in 2000, $(24) million in 2001, $(20) million in 2002 and $(11) million in the trailing twelve months.

Balance sheet-wise, ISRG has $35.4 million in cash and $39.4 million in other current assets, plenty to cover BOTH the $31.9 million in current liabilities and the relatively low level of $2.2 million in long-term liabilities.

Taking a look at "Key Statistics" from Yahoo.com, we can see that this is a small cap stock with a market cap of $538.77 million. There is no trailing p/e, but a forward p/e (fye 31-Dec-05) isn't bad at 28.37. The PEG is a bit steep at 2.11. Price/sales also a bit rich at 5.50...(but this technology is amazing!)

Yahoo reports 33.32 million shares outstanding with 26.60 million of them that float. There is large short interest out there at 1.32 million shares representing 4.98% of the float and 8.386 trading days (!). This is up from the prior month's 1.22 million shares out short. No dividend is paid, and the last split, was a REVERSE 1:2 split in July, 2003. (see the previous post about splits).

Technicals? Looking at a "Point & Figure" chart from stockcharts.com, we can see that this stock was actually trading lower until mid March, 2003, when it broke through a resistance level around $12. It then has basically been heading higher the last twelve months.

What do I think? This is FASCINATING technology. Real Star Trek stuff....operating remotely! And this company is SELLING the equipment! The valuation looks reasonable, the revenue growth is impressive, the balance sheet is fine, but they ARE just turning profitable. In addition, there ARE a bunch of shares out short...which may add to the squeeze on the upside. I may even buy a few shares.....I know, sit on my hands until I sell a portion at a gain...but then again....:)

Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by! If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Regards!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 2:35 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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