MAKO Surgical: Another Earnings Beat in Store?

Robotic surgical specialist MAKO Surgical (NAS: MAKO) is set to kick off its fiscal 2012 with first-quarter earnings on Monday after the market closes.

Analysts are expecting MAKO to post revenue of $23.8 million, which would represent growth of roughly 83% compared with the $13 million in sales seen a year ago. The estimates range from as low as $22.9 million to as high as $25.8 million in sales. The company's net loss is expected to narrow to $0.20 per share, down from the $0.27 loss last time around.

In addition to keeping an eye on how many RIO systems were installed during the quarter, I'll also be looking at the metrics for MAKO's new Total Hip Arthroplasty, or THA, procedure. THA was commercially launched in September, and last quarter was the first time to see some numbers as THA procedures began, starting with 117 performed.

As of the end of last year, 44% of the domestic commercial installed base was locked and loaded for THA procedures, so the number of procedures performed should begin accelerating, although the first quarter is typically a seasonally tougher one, as patients' insurance deductibles reset at the beginning of the year.

I'll also be looking at MAKO's cash reserves and how much of it was burned during the quarter. On the last conference call, CFO Fritz LaPorte said the company expects to burn between $25 million and $30 million during 2012 and also said it was unlikely MAKO would need to tap capital markets for more dollars.

I'm also interested to hear management's thoughts on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, and the new 2.3% tax that will be imposed on medical-device sales starting next year, and whether or not they think it will affect demand in any meaningful way. That 2.3% adds up when we're talking about a device that costs roughly three-quarters of a million dollars each.

MAKO is set to continue about its disruptive ways, following in the footsteps of Intuitive Surgical (NAS: ISRG) , which just put up an earnings beat of its own recently. I think MAKO will follow suit on Monday.

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

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