Varian Medical Systems (VAR) Rating Lowered 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 note issued to investors 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 report on Thursday, June 28th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $117.43.

Varian Medical Systems stock opened at $112.29 on Tuesday. Varian Medical Systems has a 52-week low of $98.34 and a 52-week high of $130.29. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.30 billion, a PE ratio of 31.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.16 and a beta of 0.79.

Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 25th. The medical equipment provider reported $1.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.05. Varian Medical Systems had a net margin of 4.07% and a return on equity of 27.51%. The company had revenue of $709.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $663.19 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.04 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast 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 the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.84, for a total transaction of $104,704.08. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 30,848 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,357,496.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Timothy E. Guertin sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.84, for a total transaction of $1,108,400.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 4,113 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $455,884.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 16,416 shares of company stock valued at $1,825,949. Company insiders own 0.78% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Baird Financial Group Inc. grew its holdings in Varian Medical Systems by 5.7% during the 1st quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,006 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $981,000 after purchasing an additional 430 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Varian Medical Systems by 10.2% during the 2nd quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 5,535 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $629,000 after acquiring an additional 511 shares during the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd boosted its stake in Varian Medical Systems by 23.6% during the 1st quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 3,064 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $376,000 after acquiring an additional 585 shares during the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd boosted its stake in Varian Medical Systems by 17.3% during the 2nd quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 3,987 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $454,000 after acquiring an additional 587 shares during the last quarter. Finally, NorthCoast Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Varian Medical Systems by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC now owns 15,010 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock valued at $1,707,000 after acquiring an additional 672 shares during the last quarter. 92.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Varian Medical Systems

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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