Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) and Cynosure (NASDAQ:CYNO) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, risk, earnings and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Intuitive Surgical and Cynosure, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Intuitive Surgical 0 5 11 0 2.69
Cynosure 0 3 4 0 2.57

Intuitive Surgical currently has a consensus target price of $139.91, indicating a potential downside of 61.29%. Cynosure has a consensus target price of $58.33, indicating a potential downside of 11.58%. Given Cynosure’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Cynosure is more favorable than Intuitive Surgical.

Risk and Volatility

Intuitive Surgical has a beta of 0.39, suggesting that its stock price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cynosure has a beta of 1.65, suggesting that its stock price is 65% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

94.2% of Intuitive Surgical shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of Intuitive Surgical shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of Cynosure shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Intuitive Surgical and Cynosure’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Intuitive Surgical 28.44% 15.99% 14.06%
Cynosure 0.70% 0.75% 0.59%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Intuitive Surgical and Cynosure’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Intuitive Surgical $2.87 billion 14.66 $1.08 billion $6.96 51.94
Cynosure N/A N/A N/A $0.65 101.49

Intuitive Surgical has higher revenue and earnings than Cynosure. Intuitive Surgical is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cynosure, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Intuitive Surgical beats Cynosure on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Intuitive) designs, manufactures and markets da Vinci Surgical Systems, and related instruments and accessories. The Company’s da Vinci Surgical System consists of a surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart and a vision system. The da Vinci Surgical System translates a surgeon’s hand movements, which are performed on instrument controls at a console, into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small incisions or ports. The da Vinci Surgical System provides its operating surgeons with control, range of motion, tissue manipulation capability and three-dimensional (3-D), high-definition (HD) vision. Intuitive has four generations of da Vinci Surgical System: the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, the da Vinci Si Surgical System, the da Vinci S Surgical System and the standard da Vinci Surgical System. The Company’s instruments and accessories include EndoWrist Instruments and da Vinci Single-Site.

About Cynosure

Cynosure, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets aesthetic treatment systems that enable plastic surgeons, dermatologists and other medical practitioners to perform non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures to remove hair, treat vascular and benign pigmented lesions, remove multi-colored tattoos, revitalize the skin, reduce fat through laser lipolysis, reduce cellulite, clear nails infected by toe fungus, ablate sweat glands and improve women’s health. The Company also markets radiofrequency (RF), energy-sourced medical devices for surgical applications, such as facial plastic and general surgery, gynecology, ear, nose, and throat procedures, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, podiatry and proctology. The Company sells its products globally under the Cynosure, Palomar, ConBio and Ellman brand names. Its product portfolio includes single energy source systems, as well as workstations that incorporate two or more different types of lasers or light-based technologies.

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