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Agilent Q3 Revenues up 2 Percent; Lowers FY 2012 Estimates

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that revenues during its fiscal third quarter inched up 2 percent year over year as the company missed the average analyst estimate on the top and bottom line.

For the three months ended July 31, revenues totaled $1.72 billion, compared to $1.69 billion for the third quarter a year ago. The company fell short of the average analyst estimate of $1.79 billion.

Orders during the quarter were down 2 percent to $1.66 billion from $1.69 billion a year ago.

On a conference call after the release of the results, Agilent President and CEO William Sullivan said that the firm missed its revenue and EPS guidance for the quarter due to "a softening of shippable orders, as well as a much higher than normal push-out to delivery from our customers at the end of the quarter."

The company, he added, is not seeing evidence of order cancellations, but "we're seeing all the classic signs of a slowdown. Deals are taking longer to close and customers are delaying shipments."

The effect was felt greatest in July, the last month of Agilent's fiscal third quarter, Sullivan said.

Among the end markets, industrial was down 10 percent year over year "amid deteriorating economic conditions," while environmental slid 6 percent due to lower government spending, and the academic and government research market was also down 6 percent resulting from continuing budget concerns, Sullivan said.

By group segment, the Life Sciences Group revenues grew 2 percent year over year, Agilent said, as a decline in the academic and government end market offset revenue growth in the pharmaceutical end market. Orders in Life Sciences were down 2 percent compared to a year ago.

The new Diagnostics and Genomics Group, which includes the acquisition of Dako, brought in $106 million in revenues. During the quarter, Dako contributed $40 million in revenues, Agilent CFO Didier Hirsch said on the conference call. The group was "slightly below expectations," Sullivan added, but is expected to make up for it in the fourth quarter when the company forecasts $85 million in revenues from Dako.

The Chemical Analysis Group was flat year over year and Electronic Measurement Group was down 1 percent.

Agilent's R&D costs in the quarter were unchanged year over year at $162 million, while its SG&A costs rose 2 percent to $458 million from $449 million.

The firm's net income for the fiscal third quarter was down to $243 million, or $.69 per share, from $330 million, or $.92 per share, during Q3 2011. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $.79, missing the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.83 per share.

Agilent had $1.92 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of the end of the quarter.

The company gave fourth-quarter revenue guidance of between $1.76 billion and $1.78 billion. Non-GAAP EPS is expected to be in the range of $.80 to $.82 per share.

For full-year 2012, Agilent lowered revenue guidance to a range of $6.85 billion to $6.87 billion, and non-GAAP EPS to a range of $3.06 to $3.08. Those numbers are down from Agilent's previous full-year fiscal 2012 revenue guidance of between $6.94 billion and $7.00 billion, while non-GAAP EPS is expected to fall between $3.18 and $3.24.

In Thursday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange shares of Agilent were down 8 percent at $37.32.

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