Oncology and X-Ray products company Varian Medical Systems ( VAR ) recently revealed that it had obtained permission from the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board for the usage of its TrueBeam High Intensity Mode for cancer treatment.
Varian's equipment for cancer treatment is on display at the 34th Annual National Conference of the Association of Radiation Oncologists of India (AROICON 2012) in Kolkata this week (November 29 to December 2, 2012).
The population in India exceeds one billion. Women are frequently afflicted by breast and cervical cancer whereas men often suffer from stomach and lung cancer. Varian has placed a sizeable number of linear accelerators in the country and holds a notable position in the market. The company has set up an educational facility in Mumbai to impart training to physicists and medical practitioners.
Varian is a leading manufacturer of integrated radiotherapy systems for cancer treatment and a premier supplier of X-ray tubes for diagnostic imaging applications. The company operates in a technology-driven environment where success depends on the use of new technology, product development and upgrades. In the radiation oncology market, Varian competes with Accuray ( ARAY ).
The company is poised to increase its market share in radiation oncology. It currently enjoys a healthy demand for its coveted TrueBeam technology, which has meaningfully contributed to its net order oncology growth. Varian's TrueBeam was designed to treat tumors with beams of high speed and precision. It incorporates several technological innovations such as patient positioning and managing his/her motion. Given its high intensity nature, TrueBeam can dispense strong dosage over two times faster than that possible with earlier equipment.
Moreover, Varian enjoys a strong balance sheet marked by low debt and moderate cash. The company from time to time uses a part of its healthy cash flow for share repurchases.
Varian competes with larger players in a technology-intensive industry. Further, uncertainties stemming from health care reform and a still weak hospital capital spending environment across many developed countries, especially in Europe, are significant challenges.
We are currently Neutral on Varian. The stock retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.