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Agilent's Life Sciences Revenue Rises 30 Percent in Q4; $2B Stock Buyback Planned

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Agilent Technologies said Thursday that fiscal fourth-quarter revenues for its Bio-Analytical Measurement segment rose 24 percent, including revenues from Stratagene, which the company bought in June for around $246 million.
The firm’s life sciences sales were particularly strong in the quarter ended Oct. 31, rising 30 percent year over year, or 17 percent excluding Stratagene’s contribution.
Revenues for the firm’s Bio-Analytical Measurement segment, which includes its life sciences and chemical analysis businesses, increased to $558 million from $450 million year over year. Excluding Stratagene’s sales, revenues for the segment rose 19 percent over the previous year’s third quarter.
Revenue for the chemical analysis branch rose 20 percent to $322 million, driven by growth in the food safety, environmental, and petrochemical markets.
Operating income for the Bio-Analytical Measurement division increased 32 percent to $120 million from $91 million in the prior-year period.
Overall, Agilent reported fourth-quarter revenue of $1.45 billion, up 9 percent from revenue of $1.3 billion in the comparable quarter a year ago.
The firm's Electronic Measurement segment had 1 percent revenue growth to $912 million, compared with $904 million in the comparable quarter a year ago.
Agilent posted net income of $180 million, a 21 percent jump from net income of $149 million in last year's Q4.
Agilent’s R&D spending rose nearly 12 percent to $174 million from $156 million.
The firm finished the quarter with $1.8 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
Agilent estimated that revenues for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 will be in the range of $1.35 billion to $1.40 billion, up 5 percent to 9 percent from last year.
CEO Bill Sullivan said in a statement that the company had a “good” quarter, “especially considering the continued divergent trends of our markets.”
Agilent also said that its board of directors has authorized a share-repurchase program for up to $2 billion worth of common shares over the next two years. The firm completed a previous $2 billion buyback plan last month, bringing its total share repurchases to $6.466 billion since it began the program in 2005.

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