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Varian Medical Systems Inc. (VAR): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Varian Medical Systems ( VAR) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Varian Medical Systems fell 76 cents (-1.1%) to $71.10 on average volume. Throughout the day, 654,423 shares of Varian Medical Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 785,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $70.96-$72.33 after having opened the day at $71.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.86. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: EnteroMedics ( ETRM), down 55.6%, Misonix ( MSON), down 20.1%, Urologix ( ULGX), down 11.3%, and Invacare Corporation ( IVC), down 7.2%.

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Varian Medical Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and services medical devices and software for treating cancer with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy worldwide. Varian Medical Systems has a market cap of $7.79 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Varian Medical Systems a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Varian Medical Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Gentiva Health Services ( GTIV), up 11.2%, Molina Healthcare ( MOH), up 10.4%, Cardica ( CRDC), up 10.4%, and Biolase ( BIOL), up 9.7%, were all gainers within the health services industry with UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) being today's featured health services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health services industry could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Health Care ( RXD).

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