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Varian Conducts Clinical Workshop, Strengthens Algeria Hold

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In an initiative to boost its customer base in Algeria, leading medical device and software manufacturer Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (VAR - Free Report) recently announced the conduction of a three-day workshop for radiotherapy practitioners across the country. Varian has 30 systems operating in Algeria at the moment.

The latest development signifies the company’s long-term goal of serving six million cancer patients every year. The workshop will demonstrate advanced prostate, head and neck treatment techniques and will be attended by clinical teams from seven regional hospitals.

The latest development is in collaboration with the Algerian Ministry of Health which will help clinicians use Varian’s technology to deliver advanced radiotherapy to cancer patients in Algeria. In fact, the first Varian linear accelerator was installed about 20 years ago in the country.  Varian also inked a deal with the Algerian Ministry to equip six of the country’s cancer treatment centers with the company’s technologies for radiotherapy and radio surgery in 2014.

Meanwhile, Varian’s solid performance in the radiotherapy business, improving margins and the launch of Halcyon radiotherapy treatment system are key highlights. Furthermore, strong revenue opportunity in several of its Oncology and Imaging Component products, growing adoption of Proton Therapy, strong overseas presence, particularly in emerging countries, and new partnerships are key positives.

Varian has been consistently expanding internationally for long. In fact, the company has received orders from Australia, Belgium, India, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom in the last quarter.

In this regard, Varian’s proton therapy unit had sealed a deal with Bangkok-based King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital earlier this year. In March, Brazil-based Moinhos de Vento Hospital initiated cancer treatment in the country using Varian technology. Precisely, Moinhos de Vento used the company’s flagship product Calypso, a tumor tracking system for cancer treatment.

Varian has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Over the past three months, Varian Medical has outperformed the broader industry in terms of price. The company has returned 1.6%, compared with the sub-industry’s 0.3%. Also, the current return is higher than the S&P 500’s gain of 1.4% over the same time frame.

Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW - Free Report) , IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX - Free Report) and Cogentix Medical, Inc. .

Notably, Edwards Lifesciences sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while IDEXX Laboratories and Cogentix Medical have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Edwards Lifesciences delivered an average earnings beat of 10.8% over the last four quarters. The company has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15.2%.

IDEXX Laboratories delivered an average earnings beat of 9.3% over the trailing four quarters. It has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%.

Cogentix Medical came up with a positive earnings surprise of 200% in the last quarter. The stock represented a stellar return of 100.9% over the last year.

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