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My favorite stock is Varian Medical Systems. 2 years or thereabouts ago, they were a division of Varian, which made heavy duty electronic components,linear accelerators, et., inclduing end user linear accelerators for External Beam treatment of cancer (radiation therapy treatment.
Then they split into 3 divisions, and the medical division got to keep the name, Varian Medical Systems.
There are only two main manufacturer's of medical linear accelerators in this country, Varian (Palo Alto, CA), and Siemens (Concord, CA). Although Siemens is a larger firm, and has a broader product line, Varian has done better (with regard to linear acclerators, populating So. CA with Varian machines. Then Siemens had some difficulty with the FDA, and lost 2 years of ability to sell in the US. Varian distanced themselves from Varian, gaining about 80% of the US market share, and possibly 70% world wide.
A linear accelerator cost upwards of 1 million dollars, comes with $100K pa service contracts (provided by the original manufacturer, and they have related equipment that is similarly pricey.
I work in the field, have used Varian equipment extensively, believe it well designed, superior in relability, well respected, and the field is
currently expanding, as a technique called IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) is taking hold; it can ONLY be performed with new equipment (recently mfgd linear accelerators), and carries about twice the reimbursement rate from all 3rd party providers (insurance co's, govt), as older equipment.
I think the future is bright for this company!
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