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Goldman Sachs Reinstates Neutral Rating for Agilent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Goldman Sachs today reinstated a Neutral rating for Agilent Technologies with a 12-month price target on the company's shares of $58.

As Agilent proceeds on the separation of its electronic measurement business into a separate publicly traded firm called Keysight Technologies, analyst Isaac Ro said in a research note that the global funding environment and emerging markets remain stable and the company's investments into its mass spectrometry and diagnostics businesses will help it gain incremental market share.

He added, though, that Agilent's recent earnings results have been "inconsistent relative to consensus expectations," and that while there is potential for M&A following the split, "we believe current valuations already appropriately capture this potential. Meanwhile, we believe fundamentals in the EMG business remain modestly challenged given secular pressures (price competition, shift to software-based platforms) in core end markets."

Goldman Sachs moved Agilent to a Not Rated status in September following the announcement of the firm's planned separation into two separate entities. At the time, the investment bank said that it changed Agilent's rating status due to the fact that it "is acting as a financial advisor in connection with a matter that is fundamental to the reasonable analysis of the rating and price target for this stock."

In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchanges, shares of Agilent were down a fraction of 1 percent to $58.22