Analyzing Harvard Bioscience (HBIO) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

Harvard Bioscience (NASDAQ: HBIO) and Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Risk & Volatility

Harvard Bioscience has a beta of 1.3, suggesting that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Intuitive Surgical has a beta of 0.5, suggesting that its share price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Harvard Bioscience -3.16% 1.11% 0.76%
Intuitive Surgical 21.09% 19.93% 17.02%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

61.6% of Harvard Bioscience shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 34.8% of Intuitive Surgical shares are owned by institutional investors. 9.8% of Harvard Bioscience shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Intuitive Surgical shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Harvard Bioscience and Intuitive Surgical, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Harvard Bioscience 0 0 2 0 3.00
Intuitive Surgical 0 5 12 0 2.71

Harvard Bioscience presently has a consensus price target of $9.00, suggesting a potential upside of 97.80%. Intuitive Surgical has a consensus price target of $406.13, suggesting a potential upside of 3.37%. Given Harvard Bioscience’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Harvard Bioscience is more favorable than Intuitive Surgical.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Harvard Bioscience and Intuitive Surgical’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Harvard Bioscience $104.52 million 1.52 -$4.30 million ($0.09) -50.56
Intuitive Surgical $3.13 billion 14.10 $660.00 million $5.68 69.17

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


Intuitive Surgical beats Harvard Bioscience on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Harvard Bioscience Company Profile

Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a range of scientific instruments, systems and lab consumables used for basic research, drug discovery, clinical and environmental testing. The Company’s products are sold to thousands of researchers in over 100 countries through its global sales organization, Websites, catalogs and through distributors. The Company’s product range is organized into three commercial product families: Cell and Animal Physiology (CAP), Lab Products and Services (LPS), and Molecular Separation and Analysis (MSA). The Company sells these products under brand names, including Harvard Apparatus, KD Scientific, Denville Scientific, AHN, Hoefer, Biochrom, BTX, Warner Instruments, MCS, HEKA, Hugo Sachs Elektronik, Panlab, Coulbourn Instruments, TBSI and CMA Microdialysis. The Company’s products consist of instruments, consumables and systems that are made up of various individual products.

Intuitive Surgical Company Profile

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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