I will not rehash any of the financial information that anyone can find at the ISRG website or at the SEC database. This article’s focus is my take on ISRG’s management, their tools, technology, and the chances that anyone else can beat them. Read on…
April 22nd 2009 was Intuitive Surgicals’ investor day. Apart from a rehash of numbers from Q1 2009, and a predictable slate of votes, there was much to be impressed about, and I learned a lot more than I thought I would from the meeting.
It was held in a smaller hotel on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale – not too far away from ISRG’s Headquarters on Kifer – next to the Costco (COST) on Lawrence and Kifer. I counted about fifty people who attended the meeting – including some from the East Coast and Washington State. In fact, there were about three stockholders who were once patients themselves and all of them had only the nicest things to say about DVP [da Vinci Prostatectomy].
I sat in the first row [not knowing that it was reserved for the directors of the company]. When a gentleman told me about that, the CEO Lonnie Smith rushed over, and said “please – no seat is reserved for anyone – sit wherever you want to.” I quipped with a “well, I just got a promotion” – which was hmmm… well received. The important thing is that management has their head screwed on the correct way and has no ego when it comes to superficial things that do not affect the company’s results.