MORRISVILLE — Shares of TransEnterix Inc., a Morrisville-based surgical robot company, dropped sharply over the past two days due to a worse-than-expected net loss in the fourth quarter. But its CEO remains optimistic.

During the earnings conference call on Tuesday, Todd Pope announced the company sold five surgical systems internationally in the fourth quarter. During the year, it received FDA clearance to begin offering new surgical instruments.

“We are incredibly excited about the future at Transenterix,” said Pope. “We grew our business significantly and accomplished all of the key milestones we set out for in 2018.”

However, the financial report sent shares down from $3.19 to $2.72 on Tuesday. Shares declined another 12 cents on Wednesday. The firm’s stock has traded as high as $6.98 and as low as $1.58 over the past year.

Robotic surgery firm TransEnterix receives FDA clearance for Senhance Ultrasonic System

Net loss for the quarter was $14.7 million, or 7 cents per share. For the same quarter of 2017, net loss was $14.1 million, or 7 cents per share.

Analysts predicted a loss of 6 cents per share for the company’s most recent quarter.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $7.5 million, which slightly beat analysts’ predictions of $7.35 million. Revenue for the same quarter in 2017 was $3.4 million.

Research and development expenses in the quarter increased to approximately $6.4 million compared to the prior-year period at $5.2 million, due primarily to increased personnel and consulting costs.

Transenterix is primarily focused on selling Senhance Surgical Systems, robotic units that assist surgeons in performing minimally invasive procedures.

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This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism