Reviewing Varian Medical Systems (VAR) & BioLife Solutions (BLFS)

Varian Medical Systems (NASDAQ: BLFS) and BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS) are both medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Varian Medical Systems and BioLife Solutions, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Varian Medical Systems 3 2 2 0 1.86
BioLife Solutions 0 0 3 0 3.00

Varian Medical Systems presently has a consensus target price of $113.33, indicating a potential upside of 1.43%. BioLife Solutions has a consensus target price of $22.33, indicating a potential upside of 20.59%. Given BioLife Solutions’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe BioLife Solutions is more favorable than Varian Medical Systems.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Varian Medical Systems and BioLife Solutions’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Varian Medical Systems $2.67 billion 3.83 $249.60 million $3.60 31.04
BioLife Solutions $11.02 million 27.66 -$2.51 million ($0.21) -88.19

Varian Medical Systems has higher revenue and earnings than BioLife Solutions. BioLife Solutions is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Varian Medical Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

92.4% of Varian Medical Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 27.8% of BioLife Solutions shares are held by institutional investors. 0.8% of Varian Medical Systems shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 38.5% of BioLife Solutions shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Varian Medical Systems has a beta of 0.79, indicating that its stock price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BioLife Solutions has a beta of 1.46, indicating that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Varian Medical Systems and BioLife Solutions’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Varian Medical Systems 4.07% 27.51% 12.41%
BioLife Solutions 1.76% 2.24% 1.92%

Summary

Varian Medical Systems beats BioLife Solutions on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Varian Medical Systems Company Profile

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and services medical devices and software products for treating cancer and other medical conditions worldwide. It operates through two segments, Oncology Systems and Varian Particle Therapy. The Oncology Systems segment provides hardware and software products for treating cancer with radiotherapy, fixed field intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and brachytherapy. Its products include linear accelerators, brachytherapy afterloaders, treatment simulation and verification equipment, and accessories; and information management, treatment planning, image processing, clinical knowledge exchange, patient care management, decision-making support, and practice management software. This segment serves university research and community hospitals, private and governmental institutions, healthcare agencies, physicians' offices, oncology practices, radiotherapy centers, and cancer care clinics. The Varian Particle Therapy segment develops, designs, manufactures, sells, and services products and systems for delivering proton therapy for the treatment of cancer. Varian Medical Systems, Inc. has a strategic partnership with Siemens AG to co-develop new imaging and treatment solutions. The company was formerly known as Varian Associates, Inc. and changed its name to Varian Medical Systems, Inc. in April 1999. Varian Medical Systems, Inc. was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

BioLife Solutions Company Profile

BioLife Solutions, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets patented tissue hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media products for cells, tissues, and organs in the United States. Its products are serum-free and protein-free solutions, which are formulated to reduce preservation-induced, and delayed-onset cell damage and death. The company offers HypoThermosol FRS, a hypothermic storage and shipping media product to mitigate temperature-induced molecular cell stress responses that occur during chilling and re-warming of biologics, intermediate products, and final cell products intended for research and clinical applications; and CryoStor cryopreservation freeze media products to mitigate temperature-induced molecular cell stress responses during freezing and thawing. It also provides BloodStor freeze media products, such as BloodStor 55-5 and BloodStor 100 for cryopreservation of stem and other cells isolated from umbilical cord and peripheral blood, and bone marrow; and cell thawing media, which offers Dextran and saline for washing cryopreserved cells and tissues to dilute or remove cryoprotectants. In addition, the company provides custom product formulation and packaging services; and contract aseptic manufacturing formulation, filling, and finishing services for liquid media products. It markets its products to the regenerative medicine, bio-banking, and drug discovery markets, including hospital-based stem cell transplant centers, pharmaceutical companies, cord blood and adult stem cell banks, and hair transplant centers, as well as suppliers of cells to the drug discovery, toxicology testing, and diagnostic markets. The company markets and sells its products directly using its sales force, as well as through biolifesolutions.com; and through various regional distributors. BioLife Solutions, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Bothell, Washington.

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