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Agilent Fiscal Q3 Revenues up 8 Percent, Beat Analyst Estimate

NEW YORK — Agilent Technologies announced after the close of the market Tuesday that its fiscal third quarter revenues grew 8 percent year over year, topping the consensus Wall Street estimate.

For the three months ended July 31, the firm posted $1.72 billion in total revenues, up from $1.59 billion a year ago. The analysts' average estimate was $1.59 billion.

The company said core revenues grew 13 percent year over year.

"Our strong results in Q3, coupled with orders continuing to outpace revenues, highlight the strength of our diversified business," CEO Mike McMullen said on the firm's conference call following the release of the financial results. "Momentum in our business continues."

By segment, though revenue from the Santa Clara, California-based company's Diagnostics and Genomics group declined about 2 percent year over year to $340 million, its core revenues were up 3 percent, driven by clinical cancer testing and next-generation sequencing. Agilent's diagnostics and genomics business in China also continues recovering from COVID-19-related shutdowns this spring, the firm said.

The segment's core revenue increase occurred despite a decline in revenue from COVID-19 real-time PCR detection kits and a planned shutdown of Agilent's nucleic acid solutions manufacturing facility in Frederick, Colorado, Agilent noted.

The shutdown involves maintenance and improvements that will expand the Colorado facility's manufacturing capacity. But difficulties acquiring some needed parts — particularly those requiring specialized steel — will delay the start of the new production line one or two months to mid-2023, McMullen said.

Among the firm's other segments, the Life Sciences and Applied Markets group's revenues rose 14 percent to $1.02 billion from $897 million a year ago, while the Crosslab group's revenues rose 5 percent to $359 million from $343 million.

Within Life Sciences and Applied Markets, Agilent reported a rise in demand for the company's chromatography and spectroscopy instruments. CFO Robert McMahon noted on the call that revenue from the company's liquid chromatography instrument portfolio grew 25 percent during the quarter.

McMullen said that Agilent also recently introduced several LC/MS and GC/MS instruments and biopharma workflow systems that can help increase system uptime and laboratory productivity "by allowing operators to focus on analysis rather than their instruments." The products have been well received by customers, he said.

The company also noted that Agilent ramped up production and shipments in China faster than expected following lockdowns in the country that, as previously reported, deferred between $50 million and $55 million during the second quarter. The company's production and distribution operations in Shanghai shut down in late March and throughout April, but McMahon said the company had faster-than expected recovery that helped resume gas chromatography and mass spectrometry instrument business.

"We estimate over half of that deferred total was delivered in Q3, exceeding our expectations," he said. "Given this strong performance, we now expect the remainder will be delivered in Q4, which is an acceleration from our thinking from last quarter."

Agilent had announced in January 2022 plans to invest $20 million to expand manufacturing in Shanghai to meet demand for liquid chromatography, spectrometer, and mass spectroscopy systems.

For the third quarter, Agilent said net profits rose to $329 million, or $1.10 per share, from $264 million, or $.86 per share, a year ago. Non-GAAP EPS was $1.34, beating analysts' estimate of $1.16.

The company exited the quarter with $1.07 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and $6 million in short-term investments.

Agilent raised its predicted full-year revenue for fiscal year 2022 to a new range of between $6.75 billion and $6.775 billion. The firm previously had guided to a range of $6.67 billion to $6.73 billion. Full-year non-GAAP EPS is now expected to be between $5.06 and $5.08, up from a previous range of $4.86 to $4.93.

Prior to the earnings call, Agilent also announced Tuesday a partnership with German artificial intelligence firm Bright Giant. The firms will collaborate on discovery of novel bioactive molecules that could be used to improve toxicologic and ecologic screenings and help develop new drugs, the announcement states.

In early morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Agilent's shares were up about 9 percent.