Intuitive cited several factors, "including, among other things, increased economic pressure on hospitals, which in turn caused some to defer da Vinci System purchases, and moderating growth in our benign gynecologic procedure."
Gynecological procedures, which started slowing in the first quarter, account for roughly half of all da Vinci procedures; a big part is benign.
In the first quarter the company attributed slowdown in benign gynecologic procedures to "slower than expected" seasonal patterns, lower hospital admissions and "noise," after the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a strongly worded statement reminding doctors and patients that there are less costly and equally effective alternatives to robotic surgery.
In Monday's announcement Intuitive added a new culprit: "...a trend by payers toward encouraging conservative management and treatment in outpatient settings."
Whatever the reason, this much is certain what a difference two months makes: After all back in May, after meeting with management, Goldman Sachs analyst David Roman wrote a report headlined: "The Sun is Shining in Sunnyvale." Goldman today downgraded Intuitive to neutral from buy.
My take: There's a storm a brewin' on Wall Street.