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Varian sales, profits jump in fiscal 2Q

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Varian Medical Systems reported net orders, sales, gross profits, operating earnings, and order backlog second quarter of fiscal 2004 were higher than in any quarter of its five-year history. Net earnings grew to $44 million, a 28% rise compared with the

Varian Medical Systems reported net orders, sales, gross profits, operating earnings, and order backlog second quarter of fiscal 2004 were higher than in any quarter of its five-year history. Net earnings grew to $44 million, a 28% rise compared with the previous year's 2Q results. Sales reached $321 million, up 20% versus the year-ago quarter. Net orders were $348 million, up 19% from the year-ago period. Backlog at the end of the second quarter stood at $877 million, up 14% from the same time in the previous fiscal year. The company spent $36 million during the quarter to buy back company stock and another $37 million to complete its acquisition of the assets of OpTx, a supplier of software for medical oncology practices, and to establish a joint venture with Mitsubishi Electric for selling and servicing linear accelerators in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Oncology Systems led the group with sales totaling $270 million, up 26% from the year-ago period. X-ray products, including tubes and amorphous silicon flat-panel digital imagers, slumped 5% to $42 million, from an all-time record in the previous year's second quarter. The company predicted modest growth in x-ray products for the full fiscal year with higher sales of high-end CT tubes and additional business in its emerging line of flat-panel imagers. Varian's Ginzton Technology Center and the brachytherapy unit recorded combined second quarter sales of $9 million, up 19 % from the year-ago quarter. Expectations for fiscal year 2004 call for a rise in sales of between 17% to 18% over fiscal 2003 totals.

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