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Monday, 20 October 2003
October 20, 2003 Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (VAR)
Wow...this is turning out to be a good day for picks and a lousy day to get some lunch! I promise this is it until at least this afternoon....it is after 12 here so I guess that this afternoon is now....anyway, Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (VAR), has a great track record and deserves to be in our list of stocks. According to money.cnn.com, Varian "...is engaged in the design and production of equipment for treating cancer with radiation, x-ray tubes for original equipment manufacturers, replacement x-ray tubes and imaging subsystems."

VAR is having a nice day today trading at $60.78 up $2.96 on the day or 5.12% as I write. What pushed the stock up today, was a management advisory that earnings and revenue should be growing smartly in the fourth quarter. As reported by Business Wire and picked up by Yahoo.com, Varian announced that the upcoming fourth quarter earnings should be up by 26-27% over the $.48/diluted share reported in the fourth quarter of 2002. Sales for the fourth quarter are expected to grow by 16% over the corresponding period in 2002.

This announcement today is NOT an isolated event. As recorded on Morningstar.com, VAR has been producing outstanding results for some time. In 1998, revenue was $541.5 million, this grew to $590.4 million in 1999, $689.7 million in 2000, $773.6 million in 2001, $873.1 million in 2002, and $999.7 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings during this time have grown from $.43/share in 1998 to $1.71 in the trailing twelve months. Unfortunately, VAR stopped paying a dividend after 1999.

Free Cash Flow has also shown a significant and consistent improvement: $65 million in 2000, $102 million in 2001, $130 million in 2002, and $182 million in the trailing twelve months.

The Balance Sheet is healthy with $307.8 million in cash and $466.9 million in other current assets. This is more than enough to cover the $386.5 million in current liabilities and the only $77.7 million in long-term debt.

Looking at Yahoo.com for some value measures, we find that the market cap is $4.16 billion currently, the trailing p/e is a bit rich at 33.81, with a forward p/e based on fiscal year 2004 of 27.02. The PEG ratio is 1.40 and the price/sales is 3.95.

There are 68.28 million shares outstanding with 67.80 million of them that float. There are 1.85 million shares out short as of 9/8/03 representing 3.217 trading days. With the current price rise, we may see a bit of a 'squeeze' here of the shorts. No dividend is paid, and the last stock split was a 2:1 split in January, 2002.

This is another GREAT earnings/price momentum stock. The p/e isn't really cheap however but the PEG ratio isn't bad. The company is doing great, and if it continues its outstanding performance, I anticipate the stock price to follow along with it.

Thanks again for stopping by! I hope all of this chatter is helpful to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here or email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 12:46 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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