Intuitive Surgical procedure growth slowed in October, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank analyst Imron Zafar said his checks point to 6% U.S. procedure growth in October, noting that U.S. unit sales data for single and limited-use da Vinci instruments have "historically tracked very well directionally" with reported U.S. procedure growth. He also notes that October data signals a "materially more-dramatic sequential slowdown" in Q4 relative to consensus, though he believes it would be premature to revise his model based on just one month of data. He would take this one month of data "with a grain of salt" given the significant intra-quarter volatility seen historically, but Zafar thinks procedure growth remains the most important metric that ultimately drives Intuitive shares and said he will be tracking sales trends over the balance of the quarter "very closely." He keeps a Buy rating on Intuitive Surgical shares.