Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have changed the world in so many ways. Among the industries benefitting from the robotics evolution, healthcare is on the top of the list. Robotic-assisted surgical devices are becoming increasingly popular as they offer greater precision and control during complex surgical procedures. What robotic surgery stocks should we look at?
Robotic Surgery Stocks of the Future
Physicians use these devices to perform minimally invasive surgeries that are highly delicate. They sit behind a controller to operate computerized devices during surgery.
The technology gives them more control during surgical procedures, compared to manual operations performed by hand.
Some industry experts even believe that the evolving robotic-assisted surgical devices have the potential to replace surgeons in the future.
Even if they don’t, improved connectivity and AI advancements will let physicians perform remote surgeries using robotic surgery devices, helping patients in need at the time of global crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.
The increasing adoption of such devices has created a massive opportunity for robotic surgery stocks, which are already capitalizing on the strong demand for their equipment. Here, we will discuss a couple of leading robotic surgery stocks that have been doing pretty well lately
Robotic Surgery Stocks: Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG)
When it comes to robotic surgery stocks, Intuitive Surgical is the first name that comes to mind. The company is famous for its robotic surgical systems. Its flagship da Vinci surgical system was one of the first robotic-assisted systems cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Da Vinci, famous for minimally invasive surgical procedures, is used by physicians across all states of America. Moreover, nearly 70 countries around the world are using da Vinci systems to perform surgeries. The company’s official website states that over 8.5 million procedures have so far been performed using its da Vinci technologies. One of the reasons behind da Vinci’s increasing popularity is its reduced overall risk compared to open surgery.
The popularity of Intuitive’s robotic surgery products has boosted its share price in recent years. ISRG stock has climbed more than 320 percent over the past 5 years, nearly +54 percent during the past 12 months, and about 12 percent so far in 2021. The stock is currently trading around its all-time high price of $910. Meanwhile, the company’s total market value is approaching $108 billion.
Latest Financial Performance
Intuitive last announced its quarterly financial results in April. The robotics surgery equipment maker reported adjusted earnings of $3.52 per share for the quarter ended March 31, up from $2.70 per share in the comparable period of 2020. Total revenue for the quarter climbed 18 percent on a year-over-year basis to $1.29 billion. The results easily exceeded analysts’ average estimate of $2.64 per share for earnings and $1.11 billion for revenue.
The company announced that it delivered 298 da Vinci Surgical Systems in the quarter, translating to a year-over-year surge of 26 percent. The da Vinci Surgical System installed base reached 6,142 systems with the latest shipments, compared to 5,669 in the year-ago quarter. Moreover, worldwide da Vinci procedures jumped 16 percent in Q1. So keep this in mind when looking at this stock on our robotic surgery stocks list.
Intuitive’s sales decelerated last year, as physicians postponed many nonessential surgeries due to the lockdown restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cases. However, the sales have started to recover this year as the pandemic is heading towards its end.
The company’s robotic surgical systems were involved in 1.2 million procedures last year despite operational hurdles caused by the pandemic. The number is expected to increase sharply as more healthcare facilities install its robotic surgical systems as they offer more precision and safety.
Being a dominant player in the market for robotic-assisted devices, Intuitive stock will certainly benefit from the increasing adoption of robotic products in the healthcare sector. Meanwhile, Intuitive is working on new technological innovations to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for robotic surgery devices.
It’s pouring heavy money on research and development activities to keep its dominant position in the industry. It currently leads the robotic surgery market with more than 75 percent share. For now, it seems that Intuitive will continue to grow at a decent place as there is no imminent threat that can disrupt its growth. So watch the growth potential on this robotic surgery stocks list.
Robotic Surgery Stocks: ABB Ltd (NYSE: ABB)
Swiss engineering group ABB made its first major foray into the healthcare market in October 2019 when it launched its healthcare research facility at the Texas Medical Center (TMC) campus.
Back then, the company showcased several technologies, including a moving YuMi robot intended to assist medical staff in a range of logistics and laboratory tasks.
The dual-arm mobile YuMi can sense and navigate its way inside hospitals autonomously. It has the capability to carry out a wide range of repetitive and time-taking activities like preparation of medicines, pipetting, loading and unloading centrifuges, and sorting test tubes.
Moreover, it can also perform a variety of logistic tasks, including transporting drugs and delivering medical supplies to the concerned hospital staff.
Meanwhile, ABB is currently developing several other robots capable of performing repetitive and delicate tasks better than skilled medical workers. The company claims that repetitive tasks can be performed 50 percent faster with automation, compared to the existing manual processes.
Besides, robots can operate 24 hours a day, making them more suitable and efficient than humans. And why this is apart of our robotic surgery stocks list.
Latest Earnings Report
ABB’s financial figures improved in the first quarter of 2021. The Swedish robotics company reported earnings of $502 million, versus $376 million in the comparable period of 2020. Its operational earnings jumped to $959 million, compared to $636 million in the year-ago quarter.
Total revenue for the first quarter rose 7 percent on a year-over-year basis to $6.90 billion. Meanwhile, total orders in the quarter inched up 1 percent to $7.76 billion. The company expects its second-quarter orders and revenue to grow more than 10 percent on a year-over-year basis.
ABB stock has surged nearly 54 percent during the past 12 months. The company continued its growth momentum in 2021, with its share price up more than 20 percent on a year-to-date basis. The 52-week range of the stock is $33.70-$34.08, while its market value stands at approx. $68 billion.
The Future of Robotics in Healthcare
The Healthcare industry has been in the spotlight over the last year. Hence why we should look at robotic surgery stocks. Physicians and medical staff suffered the most during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They had to deal with a large number of patients infected with the virus. In addition, many health facilities around the world faced a shortage of staff to deal with the pandemic.
Things might have been different if robotics solutions were there to support the human workforce in research centers and hospitals.
Nevertheless, leading pharmaceutical companies and hospitals have realized that they need to automize their operations to improve efficiency, control costs, and accelerate research and development activities.
This will help them better deal with a global health crisis like Covid-19 and overcome issues such as the shortage of skilled medical professionals.
Robots have proven to be accurate, faster, and flexible, making them ideal for performing repetitive tasks. Technological advancements have made robots well suited for laboratories and medical facilities. Many health facilities have already deployed robots to enhance operational output.
For instance, researchers at the European Institute of Oncology have integrated YuMi to help staff in an immuno-assay preparation process, which is a lengthy process that includes several repetitive activities such as the washing of well-plates. Separately, Copan Diagnostics is using YuMi to manage tissues, bone, and fluid samples. It’s also helping Copan in transporting swabs and blood cultures.
The Bottom Line
ABB claims that YuMi is the fastest collaborative robotic device available in the market. Moreover, it’s safe in design as it has no pinch points and comes with a collision-detection feature. Furthermore, the company is working on several other robots besides YuMi. However, we are not sure when they will hit the market.
Meanwhile, healthcare facilities have been showing great interest in both surgical and non-surgical robotic devices. Hospitals have started deploying robotic machines to improve operational efficiency and stand out from the rest in this increasingly digital world. The trend will benefit robotic companies like ABB and Intuitive Surgical.
The use of robotics in healthcare facilities is not new. However, many of the advancements in robotic technology have occurred in recent years. As a result, we see more sophisticated and highly intelligent robots becoming a part of leading hospitals and research centers. Another reason behind the increasing adoption of robots is affordable prices, with more established companies stepping into the market. So keep these robotic surgery stocks in mind.