Why Now Might Be Time To Take Profits At Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG)

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Is Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) still worth holding?

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are plenty of methods market participants can use to analyze Mr. Market. A couple of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can outperform the market by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)

Equally as key, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to analyze the stock market universe. Obviously, there are a number of incentives for an insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s analyze the newest info for Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG).

How have hedgies been trading Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)?

Heading into Q3, a total of 31 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -11% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes significantly.

When using filings from the hedgies we track, Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global had the biggest position in Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), worth close to $865 million, comprising 4.8% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Stephen Mandel of Lone Pine Capital, with a $587.7 million position; the fund has 2.9% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that hold long positions include Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Arthur B Cohen and Joseph Healey’s Healthcor Management LP.

Since Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) has witnessed bearish sentiment from upper-tier hedge fund managers, we can see that there was a specific group of funds that elected to cut their positions entirely heading into Q2. Intriguingly, Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management dropped the largest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we track, totaling an estimated $16.7 million in stock, and Richard Driehaus of Driehaus Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $16 million worth. These bearish behaviors are interesting, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds heading into Q2.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)?

Insider buying made by high-level executives is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest six-month time period, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll go over the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG). These stocks are Smith & Nephew plc (ADR) (NYSE:SNN), Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX), St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZMH), and Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK). This group of stocks belong to the medical appliances & equipment industry and their market caps are similar to ISRG’s market cap.

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