GE Healthcare and Intuitive Surgical reported positive news regarding sales in the last quarter of 2009, suggesting that "U.S. hospital capital-equipment spending has stabilized and trends are improving," said Peter Bye, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. "The capital visibility is clearly better than it was a year ago, but it's still imperfect and highly variable, depending I think critically on a couple of factors," said Intuitive CEO Gary Guthart.

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