Cantor starts Asensus Surgical at OW; PT $1.50

Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage of Asensus Surgical (NYSE American:ASXC) with an “overweight” rating and price target of $1.50. The stock closed at 53 cents on Sept. 7.

Asensus is a robotic-assisted surgery company that is digitizing the interface between the surgeon and patient to enable performance-guidance surgery through machine vision, augmented intelligence, and deep learning capabilities to drive better and more-consistent procedural outcomes.

Analyst Ross Osborn writes that he holds a favorable view of the estimated $56-billion laparoscopic surgery market that may achieve an estimated 15% compound annual growth rate in the 2019-2030 period, with a current penetration of less than 15% of worldwide surgeries.

“We believe Asensus’ visualization technology is differentiated from competitors and should serve to drive fast adoption; and believe the company’s shares are attractively valued,” he added.

In conjunction with second quarter operating results, the company lowered its previous system guidance to eight-to-10 from 10-to-12 placements.

Mr. Osborn estimates 2022 revenue for Asensus of $8.3-million, driven by nine system placements consisting of four capital sales. Turning to 2023, he estimates revenue of $15.8-million, driven by 15 placements consisting of nine capital sales.

Asensus exited the second quarter with $103.8-million of cash and no debt. “We estimate that Asensus will use about $20-million of cash during the second half of 2022 and will need to raise additional capital during 2023,” he added.