One Medical-Device Stock to Buy


Knee surgery must be popular these days.

MAKO Surgical (NAS: MAKO) shares jumped up by a third after the company reported strong quarterly results. Some of this big move could possibly be related to heavy short interest combined with Monday's massive selloff. Still, lunch is on anyone lucky enough to have owned shares before the earnings release.

Second-quarter revenue came in at $18.6 million, leaving the analysts' estimate of $16.1 million in the dust. That's an 81% revenue jump from last year, in case you weren't counting. The company continues to operate at a loss, but I think that revenue growth is more important at this stage in the game.

So long as the company's MAKOplasty procedures keep gaining traction, revenue and earnings will inevitably follow suit. The number of procedures performed in the second quarter rose by 96% to 1,557 compared with last year. MAKO's Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System, known as RIO, now has a total worldwide installed base of 86 systems, including 12 that were sold this past quarter.

See any similarities with classic disrupter Intuitive Surgical (NAS: ISRG) ? I do, too. You may also take note that Intuitive Surgical co-founder Fred Moll happens to sit on MAKO's board. Both companies focus on different types of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery, although Intuitive Surgical is more established and has already proved itself.

Who stands to lose as MAKO gains ground? Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) derives a good portion of its revenue from medical devices related to knee- and hip-replacement products, for starters. Zimmer Holdings (NYS: ZMH) also focuses heavily on the orthopedic market and could end up suffering.

MAKO is putting on a good showing with its growth in revenue, installed base, and procedures performed. Shares are pretty bouncy, as this is a somewhat speculative investment that hasn't turned a profit yet, but if you can stomach the ride, I think shares are in store for higher ground.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Zimmer Holdings and Johnson & Johnson.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson, MAKO Surgical, and Intuitive Surgical and creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.