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Agilent's Q2 Revenues Rise 3 Percent, Life Sciences Unit Sees Slower Growth

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies reported after the close of the market on Monday that fiscal second-quarter revenues rose 3 percent year over year while revenues for its Life Sciences segment increased 1 percent.

Total revenues for the three months ended April 30 increased to $1.73 billion from $1.68 billion a year ago, beating Wall Street estimates of $1.71 billion. Total orders increased 8 percent to $1.84 billion during the quarter from $1.70 billion a year ago.

The Life Sciences segment saw revenues inch up to $469 million from $464 million a year ago, while Chemical Analysis revenues increased 2 percent year over year to $388 million from $381 million. Electronic Measurement revenues spiked 5 percent to $876 million from $834 million.

Orders in Life Sciences slid a fraction of 1 percent to $476 million from $479 million a year ago, while Chemical Analysis orders increased 7 percent to $408 million and Electronic Measurement orders climbed 13 percent to $957 million.

Agilent President and CEO William Sullivan said on a conference call following the release of the financials that within the Life Sciences segment sales to pharmaceutical customers were up 4 percent, but that was offset by a 6 percent decline for government and academic customers.

"We had softness in the orders in academic," Nick Roelofs, president of the Life Sciences segment, said on the call. "That order softness was sitting heavily on the research products division and the genomics division."

He added that the firm also saw negative revenue growth in liquid chromatography," but just barely," for the quarter.

R&D spending companywide crept up to $166 million from $165 million in the year-ago period. Its SG&A costs dropped 4 percent to $452 million from $469 million.

Agilent said it netted a profit for the second quarter of $255 million, or $.72 per share, compared to a profit of $200 million, or $.56 per share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $.78, above the $.73 expected by analysts.

During the quarter, Agilent said it had intangible amortization of $26 million, transformational charges of $8 million, and acquisition and integration costs of $6 million. It recognized a tax benefit of $11 million and other net benefits of $9 million.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company ended the quarter with $3.90 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

The company gave guidance for its fiscal third quarter of revenues in a range between $1.77 billion and $1.79 billion. Its non-GAAP EPS is expected to be in the range of $.82 to $.84.

For full-year fiscal 2012, revenues are anticipated to be in the range of $6.94 billion to $7.00 billion, while non-GAAP EPS is expected to fall between $3.18 and $3.24.

In its fiscal first-quarter earnings announcement, Agilent had given full-year 2012 revenue guidance of between $6.92 billion and $7.02 billion, and non-GAAP EPS guidance of between $3.13 and $3.23.

In early Tuesday trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Agilent were up nearly 6 percent at $41.06.

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