Varian Medical Systems (VAR) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Varian has not booked any ProBeam orders in recent times. Lackluster performance in the Particle Therapy unit is a concern. The company competes with large electronic companies as well as smaller and more specialized radiation therapy equipment manufacturers. Thus, competition is likely to mar revenues. However, the company’s Halcyon platform has been the key driver of growth of late, which is now operational in centers across Africa. Solid revenue from Oncology and strong overseas presence, particularly in the emerging countries are positives. The recent display of brachytherapy solutions also deserves mention. Varian has also been going global in acquisitions and agreements. Recent acquisitions include, Sirtex of Australia and COOP of Taiwan. A solid guidance for fiscal 2018 instills confidence. Varian outperformed the industry in a year's time. “

Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Varian Medical Systems from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $105.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Thursday, June 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $117.43.

NYSE VAR traded up $0.13 on Tuesday, hitting $112.67. 23,169 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 549,696. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.25, a PEG ratio of 3.16 and a beta of 0.80. Varian Medical Systems has a 52-week low of $98.34 and a 52-week high of $130.29.

Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 25th. The medical equipment provider reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $709.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $663.19 million. Varian Medical Systems had a net margin of 4.07% and a return on equity of 27.51%. Varian Medical Systems’s quarterly revenue was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.04 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Varian Medical Systems will post 4.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP John W. Kuo sold 962 shares of Varian Medical Systems stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.84, for a total value of $104,704.08. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 30,848 shares in the company, valued at $3,357,496.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP John W. Kuo sold 1,327 shares of Varian Medical Systems stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.90, for a total value of $147,164.30. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 30,551 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,388,105.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 16,416 shares of company stock valued at $1,825,949. Corporate insiders own 0.78% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VAR. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Varian Medical Systems in the first quarter valued at about $100,000. Summit Trail Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Varian Medical Systems by 28,765.9% in the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 100,742 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 100,393 shares in the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC bought a new position in Varian Medical Systems in the second quarter worth about $117,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Varian Medical Systems in the second quarter worth about $118,000. Finally, Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. bought a new position in Varian Medical Systems in the second quarter worth about $137,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.40% of the company’s stock.

Varian Medical Systems Company Profile

Varian Medical Systems, Inc designs, manufactures, sells, and services medical devices and software products for treating cancer and other medical conditions worldwide. It operates through two segments, Oncology Systems and Varian Particle Therapy. The Oncology Systems segment provides hardware and software products for treating cancer with radiotherapy, fixed field intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and brachytherapy.

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