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Agilent Q4 Revenues Inch up 2 Percent; Dako Drives Dx Growth

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies said after the close of the market on Monday that revenues for its Fiscal Year 2012 fourth quarter increased 2 percent year over year.

Total revenues for the three months ended Oct. 31 rose to $1.77 billion from $1.73 billion a year ago, edging out the average analyst estimate of $1.76 billion. Orders during the quarter were flat at $1.75 million.

"The headline for this quarter is that most of our end markets remained soft," Agilent CEO Bill Sullivan said on a conference call after the release of the company's earnings.

By segment, Life Sciences revenues slid a fraction of 1 percent to $401 million from $402 million, while orders of $417 million were down 4 percent year over year from $433 million. The pharmaceutical and environmental markets saw growth in the quarter, but that was offset by a decline in academic and government business, Agilent said.

Nick Roelofs, president of the Life Sciences group, added on the call that Agilent's liquid chromatography business was down in the single digits in the fourth quarter, while mass spectrometry continued to grow, though he didn't elaborate.

Revenues from the Diagnostics and Genomics segment more than doubled to $156 million from $69 million a year ago, while orders spiked to $158 million from $76 million. The revenue figures include the contribution of Dako, which Agilent acquired in June for $2.2 billion. Excluding Dako, revenues for the segment were up 1 percent compared to a year ago, the company said.

Sullivan said on the call that Dako's fundamental core business "continues right on plan … We are very, very pleased with the progress we've made to date, very pleased with the integration."

Revenues for the Chemical Analysis segment narrowed 3 percent year over year to $394 million from $405 million as environmental and chemical markets were down, while food and forensics were up. The segment saw flat orders year over year at $421 million.

Electronic Measurement, Agilent's largest segment, saw revenues slip 5 percent to $816 million from $855 million a year ago as all key markets, except computer and semiconductor, were down. Orders of $755 million were down 8 percent compared to $822 million a year ago.

Agilent's R&D spending in the quarter reached $178 million, up 9 percent from $163 million a year ago, while its SG&A spending increased 5 percent to $466 million from $445 million.

Agilent posted a profit of $425 million, or $1.20 per share, compared to a profit of $289 million, or $.82 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $.86, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.80.

For Fiscal Year 2012, Agilent posted revenues of $6.86 billion, a 4 percent increase from $6.62 billion a year ago and slightly above the consensus Wall Street estimate of $6.85 billion.

The company had $6.88 billion in orders, a 2 percent increase from $6.77 billion a year ago.

Its R&D expenses rose 3 percent year over year to $668 million from $649 million, while its SG&A costs inched up to $1.82 billion from $1.81 billion a year ago.

Agilent's net income for the year was up to $1.15 billion, or $3.27 per share, compared to $1.01 billion, or $2.85 per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $3.12, surpassing the average analyst estimate of $3.06.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm finished FY 2012 with $2.35 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

For the fiscal 2013 first quarter, Agilent provided revenue guidance of between $1.68 billion and $1.70 billion. Non-GAAP EPS is anticipated to be in the range of $.60 and $.67.

The company gave full Fiscal Year 2013 revenue guidance of between $7.0 billion and $7.20 billion, with non-GAAP EPS of between $2.80 and $3.10. Core revenue growth for the year is projected at between minus 1.5 percent to plus 1.5 percent, Sullivan said, with total revenue growth in the 2 percent to 5 percent range.

Chemical Analysis and Life Sciences are projected to be flat to up 3 percent during the year, while Diagnostics and Genomics is expected to be up between 3 percent and 7 percent with Dako growing between 3 percent and 6 percent, he added.

In Tuesday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange shares of Agilent were down 2 percent at $36.65.

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