Varian offers new planning tool as stock slides

July 30, 2004

The bad news continued as Varian Medical Systems lost a major supply contract to rival Elekta in late July. Earlier in the month, the company reported preliminary results that showed sales of radiotherapy equipment were flat in the U.S. last quarter,

The bad news continued as Varian Medical Systems lost a major supply contract to rival Elekta in late July. Earlier in the month, the company reported preliminary results that showed sales of radiotherapy equipment were flat in the U.S. last quarter, sending its stock spiraling downward (SCAN 7/16/04).

News that Elekta had won a key three-year contract to supply Premier Purchasing Partners with radiation oncology systems knocked the company's stock down even further. Fearful of more bad news, investors sent the stock plummeting to hover just above the $60 mark in anticipation of final quarterly results after the market close July 29. The stock had cracked the $90 level in April.

On the up side, Varian introduced several new capabilities in July for its Eclipse 3D radiotherapy treatment planning software. The new software compensates automatically for variations in tissue thickness and has the ability to combine multiple targets within a single plan. Another enhancement supports inverse planning of IMRT treatments with linear accelerators from other suppliers.