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Friday, 26 March 2004
March 26, 2004 "A reader writes" Comments about Varian (VAR)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by! Remember to always do your own due diligence as I AM a fellow amateur investor, so please check on all the stocks I post with your investment advisors.

I received an email from Jody who "stumbled into your web site while googling VARIAN" and writes "I've gotten accustomed to VAR going up by steps, but it has been dropping lately, especially today (3/25/04), when I expected it to be up a buck or more. Is something negative happening? I can't find anything. The forthcoming stock split should be a positive factor and they have an important cancer killer which hasn't been bruited about as yet. Do you have any ideas?"

First of all, I do not own any shares of VAR or have any options, etc. I first posted VAR on this BLOG when it was trading at $60.78/share on 10/20/03. Currently, as I write this, VAR is trading at $83.00/share up $.43 today or 0.52%. This is a gain of $22.22/share or 36.6% so at least the selection in October, 2003, was a good post. What about now though?

Looking first at its latest quarterly report, Varian Medical Systems (VAR) reported First Quarter 2004 results on January 28, 2004. First quarter sales were $267 million, up 29% from the year-ago quarter. Net earnings were $29 million, $.41/diluted share vs. $21 million or $.30/diluted share the prior year. These are great results! In fact, VAR reported that their backlog stood at a record $850 million, up 14% from the total at the end of the first quarter in fiscal 2003.

If we look at the latest "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar, the report looks even nicer than the posting six months ago. The revenue growth is uninterrupted, the earnings are growing, the free cash flow is up to $205 million in the latest twelve months.

So why didn't the stock move up yesterday? Quite frankly, I cannot figure out day to day activity in stock prices. I concentrate on the bigger picture and hopefully, as in this case, can identify stocks that have the potential to appreciate significantly over the intermediate and longer-term period.

When thinking about stock-price activity, it is sometimes helpful to look at point and figure charts which sometimes give us a bit of a better understanding of the ebb and flow of the price. With this chart from Stockcharts.com, you can see that the long-term upward trend of this stock is NOT interrrupted at this time yet the stock you could say has gotten a bit ahead of itself and has over the short-term backed off its recent high of about $89/share.

Good-luck investing! I cannot predict whether VAR will go up or down in price in the immediate future. I can tell you that the underlying company appears to be doing superbly and usually the stock price will follow these fundamentals over the longer periods of observation! Let me know how you do!

If you have other questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 10:03 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 26 March 2004 10:04 AM CST

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