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Investment Bank Ups Agilent Stock Rating, Price Target

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Jon Groberg, an analyst with Macquarie Securities, has raised the bank's rating on Agilent Technologies' stock and its price target.

Groberg upped the rating from "neutral" to outperform," citing several catalysts. He said in a research note published today that Agilent's restructuring of its Electronic Measurement business and the cyclical recovery in that business is one key driver. He also cited strong organic growth in Agilent's Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis business, and the impending acquisition of Varian as other catalysts.

The firm is awaiting US clearance for its $1.5 billion acquisition of Varian. Groberg said that once the deal closes, he expects earnings estimates to step up "by at least 12 percent."

He upped his 12-month price target on Agilent's stock to $38 from $31, and increased his FY2010 revenue estimate by $30 million to $4.97 billion.

Last month, Agilent reported first-quarter revenue growth of 4 percent to $1.21 billion, led by double-digit increases in sales for its Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis segments.

In mid-Friday afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Agilent were up around 3 percent at $33.12.

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