Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) and Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) are both large-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and dividends.

Dividends

Thermo Fisher Scientific pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Intuitive Surgical does not pay a dividend. Thermo Fisher Scientific pays out 10.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Thermo Fisher Scientific and Intuitive Surgical, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Thermo Fisher Scientific 0 1 14 0 2.93
Intuitive Surgical 0 5 11 0 2.69

Thermo Fisher Scientific presently has a consensus target price of $204.46, suggesting a potential upside of 6.34%. Intuitive Surgical has a consensus target price of $328.18, suggesting a potential downside of 11.76%. Given Thermo Fisher Scientific’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Thermo Fisher Scientific is more favorable than Intuitive Surgical.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

86.2% of Thermo Fisher Scientific shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 32.8% of Intuitive Surgical shares are held by institutional investors. 0.5% of Thermo Fisher Scientific shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Intuitive Surgical shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Thermo Fisher Scientific has a beta of 1.06, suggesting that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Intuitive Surgical has a beta of 0.48, suggesting that its stock price is 52% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Thermo Fisher Scientific and Intuitive Surgical’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Thermo Fisher Scientific $18.27 billion 4.22 $2.02 billion $5.89 32.64
Intuitive Surgical $2.70 billion 15.41 $735.90 million $7.74 48.05

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Thermo Fisher Scientific 11.73% 15.94% 7.41%
Intuitive Surgical 30.16% 18.20% 15.90%

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. develops, manufactures and sells a range of products. The Company provides analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and consumables, software and services for research, manufacturing, analysis, discovery and diagnostics. It operates through four segments: Life Sciences Solutions, Analytical Instruments, Specialty Diagnostics, and Laboratory Products and Services. The Life Sciences Solutions segment provides a portfolio of reagents, instruments and consumables. The Analytical Instruments segment provides a range of instruments, consumables, software and services. The Specialty Diagnostics segment offers a range of diagnostic test kits, reagents, culture media, instruments and associated products. The Laboratory Products and Services segment offers controlled temperature technologies products, growth protection and separation products, and water and laboratory products.

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.

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