Varian sees uptick in Q1 profits
Varian Medical Systems has reported its unaudited financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, which ended Jan. 2.

The company said that its net earnings for the 2009 first quarter were $68.8 million, compared to $55.5 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2008.

Compared to continuing operations in the year-ago quarter, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Varian reported that its first quarter revenues rose 13 percent to $509 million, net orders rose 13 percent to $551 million, and the quarter-ending backlog rose 14 percent to $1.9 billion.

The company said it ended the first quarter with $423 million in cash and cash equivalents and $65 million of debt. The company spent $72 million during the quarter to repurchase 1.5 million shares under its stock repurchase authorization.

According to specific business segments, oncology systems’ revenues for the first fiscal quarter totaled $398 million, up 11 percent from the first quarter of last fiscal year. The company said this segment recorded first-quarter net orders of $428 million, up 11 percent from the same period last year.

Varian said that revenues for the x-ray products business, including tubes and digital flat-panel detectors for filmless r-ray imaging, were $86 million for the first quarter, up 23 percent from the year-ago quarter. Net orders for this segment were $91 million, up 21 percent from the year-ago quarter.

The company' said its security and inspection products business, Accel proton therapy unit, and Ginzton Technology Center reported combined fiscal 2009 first quarter revenues of $24 million, up 17 percent from the year-ago quarter.

“Despite continuing turbulent financial times, we believe that fiscal year 2009 revenues could grow by about 10 to 13 percent,” said Tim Guertin, president and CEO of Varian.