Is Varian Far More Than Its Parts?

When Varian Associates (VAR) announced on Aug. 21 that it would spin off two of its three businesses, its stock popped up nearly 7 points, to 43 a share. But much of that gain melted in a couple of weeks when investors sensed that profits from its semiconductor-equipment business would come under pressure. Indeed, on Sept. 25, Varian warned that fiscal fourth-quarter earnings would be disappointing.

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