Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Varian Medical ended the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 on a mixed note, wherein adjusted earnings missed estimates, while revenues beat the same. The company’s Halcyon platform has been the key growth driver of growth, which is now operational in Africa. Growth in Oncology segment and strong overseas presence, particularly in the emerging countries are positives. The recent display of brachytherapy solutions also deserves mention. Varian Medical has also been going global in acquisitions and agreements.  A solid guidance for fiscal 2018 instills optimism. On the negative side, registration of no new ProBeam orders in the recent past is a concern. Sluggishness in the Proton Solutions unit is a headwind. The company competes with large electronic companies as well as smaller and more specialized radiation therapy equipment manufacturers. Varian Medical underperformed its industry in a year’s time.”

VAR has been the topic of several other reports. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Varian Medical Systems from $127.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price objective on shares of Varian Medical Systems from $110.00 to $105.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Varian Medical Systems and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird initiated coverage on shares of Varian Medical Systems in a research report on Friday, October 19th. They issued a neutral rating and a $119.00 price objective for the company. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $119.25.

Shares of VAR stock opened at $114.56 on Friday. Varian Medical Systems has a 1 year low of $101.42 and a 1 year high of $130.29. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.17 and a beta of 0.64.

Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The medical equipment provider reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.20 by ($0.04). Varian Medical Systems had a net margin of 5.14% and a return on equity of 27.54%. The business had revenue of $801.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $766.26 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.04 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Varian Medical Systems will post 4.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CAO Magnus Momsen sold 2,800 shares of Varian Medical Systems stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.68, for a total value of $312,704.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP John W. Kuo sold 1,324 shares of Varian Medical Systems stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.50, for a total transaction of $152,922.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 30,286 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,498,033. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 20,423 shares of company stock valued at $2,278,268. Insiders own 0.78% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VAR. Resources Management Corp CT ADV bought a new stake in shares of Varian Medical Systems during the 3rd quarter worth about $111,000. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Varian Medical Systems during the 2nd quarter worth about $117,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Varian Medical Systems during the 2nd quarter worth about $118,000. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. bought a new stake in shares of Varian Medical Systems during the 2nd quarter worth about $137,000. Finally, Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Varian Medical Systems by 97.7% during the 2nd quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 1,720 shares of the medical equipment provider’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 850 shares during the period. 94.48% 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.

Featured Article: What does relative strength index mean?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Varian Medical Systems (VAR)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR)

Receive News & Ratings for Varian Medical Systems Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Varian Medical Systems and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.