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Agilent Posts 2-Percent Increase in LSCA Revenues; Confirms Plans to Sell Chip Business

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NEW YORK, Aug. 15 (GenomeWeb News) - Agilent Technologies today reported a 2-percent increase in revenues for its Life Science and Chemical Analysis unit and a 7-percent decline in profit for the segment for its third fiscal quarter, ended July 31.


Separately, Agilent said that it plans to sell its semiconductor business for $2.66 billion to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake Partners in a deal expected to close by Oct. 31. Agilent will lay off around 1,300 employees as part of a restructuring plan related to the divestiture, which the company said will enable it to focus on its measurement business.


Agilent's total revenues fell 10 percent to $1.69 billion for the quarter from $1.89 billion in the prior-year period. Revenues fell below the company's expectations of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion for the quarter. "Revenues were slightly below our expectations because of weak wireless test and life sciences markets," said Bill Sullivan, Agilent CEO, in a statement.


The LSCA unit posted receipts of $341 million for the quarter, a slight increase over $335 million in the year-ago period. Orders for the unit increased 8 percent, to $348 million from $321 million in the prior year.


Operating profit for the LSCA unit fell to $42 million, compared to $45 million in the equivalent period of 2004. Excluding the impact of recent acquisitions, profits for the LSCA group were flat year over year, the company said.


Agilent noted that it witnessed "particular strength" in the life science group from generic drug manufacturers, but "some weakness in near-term pharmaceutical demand."


Agilent posted net earnings of $104 million, or $.21 per share, compared to $100 million, or $.20 per share in last year's third fiscal quarter.


Quarterly R&D expenses increased 5 percent to $244 million from $235 million in the year-ago period.


Agilent had cash and cash equivalents of $2.8 billion as of July 31.

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