Shares of Intuitive Surgical Inc. surged 2.3% in midday trade Monday, in the wake of the announcement of a 3-for-1 stock split. The stock was now within 1% of its July 20 record close of $971.73. After Friday's closing bell, the company said if approved by shareholders at a special meeting on Sept. 22, the stock would begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Oct. 6. Raymond James analyst Lawrence Keusch said that although the stock split does not generate any economic value, he believed it was a "positive sign" for the developer of robotic-assisted surgical platforms because "it could be argued that the event signals confidence in the company's fundamental prospects." In addition, Keusch said that since the number of stock splits have declined meaningfully over the past 20 years, Intuitive Surgical's "may help raise the company's profile," especially among retail investors. The stock has run up 52% year to date, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has rallied 15% and the S&P 500 has gained 10%.
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