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Fitch Affirms BBB+ Ratings for Agilent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fitch Ratings late on Tuesday affirmed several ratings of BBB+ for Agilent Technologies.

The BBB+ ratings, which translate to good credit quality, were affirmed for Agilent's Issuer Default Rating, senior unsecured revolving credit facility, and senior unsecured notes. Fitch's actions affect about $2.6 billion of debt, including an undrawn $400 million revolving credit facility that expires in 2016, Fitch said.

It rated Agilent's outlook Stable.

Fitch noted Agilent's strengthened operating profile and continued diversification of its revenue mix, saying that though the Electronics Measurement Group still makes up about half of Agilent's total revenues and "well over half" of its operating income, faster and stable organic growth in markets served by the Life Sciences Group and Chemical Analysis Group "should tip this balance over the intermediate term."

It added that acquisitions are more likely in the Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis businesses, which would accelerate the portfolio shift, and noted the $1.5 billion Varian acquisition completed about two years ago, which added about $700 million in annual revenues to Chemical Analysis Group, and a little less than that to Life Sciences.

"Nonetheless, future acquisitions likely will be smaller in size and focused on technologies that can be leveraged by Agilent's global footprint," Fitch said in a statement.