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Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG)


Analysis of Revenues

Difficulty: Advanced


Revenue Recognition Accounting Policy

Intuitive Surgical adopted ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, on January 1, 2018. Intuitive Surgical’s revenue consists of product revenue resulting from the sale of systems, system components, instruments and accessories, and service revenue. Intuitive Surgical accounts for a contract with a customer when there is a legally enforceable contract between Intuitive Surgical and its customer, the rights of the parties are identified, the contract has commercial substance, and collectability of the contract consideration is probable. Intuitive Surgical’s revenues are measured based on the consideration specified in the contract with each customer, net of any sales incentives and taxes collected from customers that are remitted to government authorities.

Intuitive Surgical’s system sale arrangements generally contain multiple products and services. For these bundled sale arrangements, Intuitive Surgical accounts for individual products and services as separate performance obligations if they are a distinct product or service that is separately identifiable from other items in bundled packages; and if a customer can benefit from the product or service on its own or with other resources that are readily available to the customer. Intuitive Surgical’s system sale arrangements include a combination of the following performance obligations: system(s); system components; system accessories; instruments; accessories; and system service. Intuitive Surgical’s system sale arrangements generally include a five-year period of service. The first year of service is generally free and included in the system sale arrangement and the remaining four years are generally included at a stated service price. Intuitive Surgical considers the service terms in the arrangements that are legally enforceable to be performance obligations. Other than service, Intuitive Surgical generally satisfies all of the performance obligations up-front. System components, system accessories, instruments, accessories, and service are also sold on a stand-alone basis.

Intuitive Surgical recognizes revenue as the performance obligations are satisfied by transferring control of the product or service to a customer. Intuitive Surgical generally recognizes revenue for the performance obligations at the following points in time:

System sales. For systems (including system components and system accessories) sold directly to end customers, revenue is recognized when Intuitive Surgical transfers control to the customer, which is generally at the point when acceptance occurs that indicates customer acknowledgment of delivery or installation, depending on the terms of the arrangement. For systems sold through distributors, revenue is recognized generally at the time of shipment. Intuitive Surgical’s system arrangements generally do not provide a right of return. The systems are generally covered by a one-year warranty. Warranty costs were not material for the periods presented.

Instruments and accessories. Revenue from sales of instruments and accessories is recognized when control is transferred to the customers, which generally occurs at the time of shipment, but also occurs at the time of delivery depending on the customer arrangement. Intuitive Surgical allows its customers in the normal course of business to return unused products for a limited period of time subsequent to initial purchase and records an allowance against revenue for estimated returns.

Service. Service revenue is recognized over the term of the service period as the customer benefits from the services throughout the service period. Revenue related to services performed on a time-and-materials basis is recognized when performed.

Intuitive Surgical offers its customers the opportunity to trade in their older systems for a credit towards the purchase of a newer generation system. Intuitive Surgical generally does not provide specified price trade-in rights or upgrade rights at the time of system purchase. Such trade-in or upgrade transactions are separately negotiated based on the circumstances at the time of the trade-in or upgrade, based on the then fair value of the system, and are generally not based on any pre-existing rights granted by Intuitive Surgical. Accordingly, such trade-ins and upgrades are not considered as separate performance obligations in the arrangement for a system sale.

As part of a trade-in transaction, the customer receives a new generation system in exchange for its pre-owned system. The trade-in credit is negotiated at the time of the trade-in and is applied towards the purchase price of the new unit. Traded-in systems generally can be reconditioned and resold. Intuitive Surgical accounts for the fair value of the traded-in system in the total consideration in the arrangement by including the net realizable value of the traded-in system less a normal profit margin. The value of the traded-in system is determined as the amount, after reconditioning costs are added, that will allow a normal profit margin on the sale of the reconditioned unit to be generated. When there is no market for the traded-in units, no value is assigned. Traded-in units are reported as a component of inventory until resold, or otherwise disposed.

In addition, customers may also have the opportunity to upgrade their systems at a price determined at the time of the upgrade, for example, by adding a second surgeon console for use with the da Vinci Surgical System. Such upgrades are performed by completing component level upgrades at the customer’s site. Upgrade revenue is recognized when the component level upgrades are complete and all revenue recognition criteria are met.

For multiple-element arrangements, revenue is allocated to each performance obligation based on its relative standalone selling price. Standalone selling prices are based on observable prices at which Intuitive Surgical separately sells the products or services. If a standalone selling price is not directly observable, then Intuitive Surgical estimates the standalone selling price considering market conditions and entity-specific factors including, but not limited to, features and functionality of the products and services, geographies, and type of customer. Intuitive Surgical regularly reviews standalone selling prices and updates these estimates as necessary.

The transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations relates to amounts allocated to products and services for which revenue has not yet been recognized. A significant portion of this amount relates to performance obligations in Intuitive Surgical’s service contracts that will be satisfied and recognized as revenue in future periods. Transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations was approximately $1,448.7 million as of December 31, 2018.

Intuitive Surgical invoices its customers based on the billing schedules in its sales arrangements. Payments are generally due 30 days from date of invoice. Contract assets for the periods presented primarily represent the difference between the revenue that was recognized based on the relative standalone selling price of the related performance obligations satisfied and the contractual billing terms in the arrangements. Deferred revenue for the periods presented primarily relates to service contracts where the service fees are billed up-front, generally quarterly or annually, prior to those services having been performed. The associated deferred revenue is generally recognized over the term of the service period. Intuitive Surgical did not have any significant impairment losses on its contract assets for the periods presented.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, Intuitive Surgical recognized $268.9 million of revenue that was included in the deferred revenue balance as of December 31, 2017. During the year ended December 31, 2017, Intuitive Surgical recognized $225.5 million of revenue that was included in the deferred revenue balance as of December 31, 2016.

Source: 10-K (filing date: 2019-02-04).


Revenues as Reported

Intuitive Surgical Inc., Income Statement, Revenues

USD $ in thousands

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12 months ended Dec 31, 2018 Dec 31, 2017 Dec 31, 2016 Dec 31, 2015 Dec 31, 2014
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Based on: 10-K (filing date: 2019-02-04), 10-K (filing date: 2018-02-02), 10-K (filing date: 2017-02-06), 10-K (filing date: 2016-02-02), 10-K (filing date: 2015-02-06).

Item Description The company
Revenue Amount of revenue recognized from goods sold, services rendered, insurance premiums, or other activities that constitute an earning process. Includes, but is not limited to, investment and interest income before deduction of interest expense when recognized as a component of revenue, and sales and trading gain (loss). Intuitive Surgical Inc.’s revenue increased from 2016 to 2017 and from 2017 to 2018.