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Agilent Shares Climb 5 Percent On 5-Percent Fiscal Q4 Revenue Gain and Decreased Profits

NEW YORK, Nov. 15 (GenomeWeb News) - Shares in Agilent were up 5.14 percent, or $1.69, at $34.59 in mid-afterbnoon tradiong after the company said revenue from its Bio-Analytical Measurement segmen grew nearly 10 percent during its fiscal fourth quarter.


Agilent's total revenue for the fourth quarter grew 5 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004, the company reported yesterday. Orders increased $308 million for the quarter, or 25.8 percent over last year.


The segment reported a 9.8-percent increase in total orders for the quarter ended Oct. 31 to $402 million from $366 million last year. Total revenue in the segment grew 8.5 percent for the quarter to $382 million from $352 million last year.


Increased orders for Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis contributed to the increase in total revenue, the company said, citing mixed demand from large pharmaceutical companies but strength in biotech and generic pharmaceutical firms.


Demand for Agilent's new gas chromatograph and mass spectrometry platform was higher than earlier in the year, the company said.

Net income declined 65 percent for Agilent during the quarter to $26 million, or $.05 per share, from $74 million last year, or $.15 per share, year over year.


As part of its divesture activities, Agilent plans to complete the sale of its Semiconductor Products business by Dec. 1 and to spin off its Semiconductor Test Solutions business. The initial public offering is expected in the middle of fiscal year 2006. Agilent will receive proceeds from the sale of its 47-percent stake in Lumileds within the month, the company said.


Agilent's board authorized a share repurchase of approximately $2.7 million, or 73 million shares of its common stock, the company said. As of Oct. 31, Agilent has 500 million outstanding shares.


The modified "Dutch Auction" tender offer will purchase shares at a price between $32 and $37 and is expected to commence today and expire Dec. 13.


Agilent's quarterly research and development expenses increased 11 percent to $188 million from $169 million in the year-ago period.


Agilent had $2.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of Oct. 31.