Wall Street rallied early Monday after Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) announced their experimental vaccine proved 90% effective in a final-phase test. The news sent ISRG stock up 5.7%, near 776, in midday trading on the stock market today.
The reason is that Intuitive Surgical and other medical technology companies have been battered amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many patients are quarantining and have delayed nonessential surgeries. That hurt Intuitive Surgical in the second and third quarters.
But a coronavirus vaccine could help Intuitive Surgical return to sales and profit growth. The enthusiasm put ISRG stock well above a buy point at 771.72 out of a cup-with-handle base that began forming in September.
ISRG Stock Rises On Vaccine News
Intuitive Surgical hasn’t been immune to the effects of the pandemic. But there are signs the robotic surgery giant is seeing a partial recovery. In the second quarter, sales declined 22% and adjusted profit tumbled 66%.
In the third quarter, though, the effect of the coronavirus pandemic was more muted as sales fell just 4% and adjusted earnings skidded 19%. Intuitive Surgical called it a “partial recovery from the significant disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Worldwide, procedures using Intuitive Surgical’s robotic surgery system, dubbed da Vinci, climbed 7% in the third quarter. This indicates “some degree of moderation vs. the June exit rate,” Deutsche Bank analyst Imron Zafar said in a report to clients.
“Our sales data clearly show that September was particularly strong,” Zafar said. “This is notable in terms of corroboration that robotic surgery volumes exiting the quarter (are) trending in the right direction and the volume recovery (is) continuing to unfold — which is encouraging.”
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