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Agilent Fiscal Q3 Revenues Increase 7 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Agilent Technologies said after the close of the market on Thursday that its revenues for the fiscal third quarter rose 7 percent year over year.

During the three months ended July 31, total revenues increased to $1.77 billion from $1.65 billion in the year-ago period, surpassing the average analyst estimate of $1.75 billion.

Orders in the quarter were $1.74 billion, a 9 percent increase from $1.60 billion a year ago.

The company's Life Sciences and Diagnostics segment saw its revenues improve to $592 billion from $564 billion a year ago, while orders in the segment were up to $597 million from $536 million.

On a conference call after the release of Agilent's financial results, Agilent President and CEO Bill Sullivan said that revenues in the firm's diagnostics and clinical markets were up 6 percent year over year with strength in array CGH, target enrichment, and demand for pathology products in the US and Europe.

Revenue from analytical lab markets also grew 6 percent with strength in instruments, services, and consumables driven by new products, he said.

Agilent's President of Life Science and Diagnostics Fred Strohmeier added that the LC-MS business rebounded "quite significantly over the last three to four months after a very difficult fiscal year 2013, so we are really confident that the new products are really pushing our business forward."

The informatics business also is growing, while the company's genomics business also grew significantly driven by sample preparation products for next-generation sequencing, Strohmeier said. He also noted increasing demand for Agilent's companion diagnostic business.

The Chemical Analysis segment had revenues of $417 million, compared to $387 million a year ago, and the Electronic Measurement segment posted revenues of $757 million, up from $701 million.

Electronic Measurement is being spun out into its own publicly traded company called Keysight Technologies, and on Aug. 1 it began operating as a wholly owned subsidiary.

"Agilent generated strong revenue and earnings this quarter, exceeding the high end of our forecasted guidance," Sullivan said in a statement. "We’re seeing continued improvement in our markets and good order growth across our businesses.

"While delivering these solid results, the Agilent and Keysight teams have done an outstanding job of executing the company separation to date," he added. "We are on track for the formal separation in early November, and both companies are well positioned for the future."

Agilent had a profit of $147 million, or $.43 per share, for the quarter, compared to a profit of $168 million, or $.49 per share, a year ago.

The company said that it had pre-separation costs of $62 million, intangible amortization of $50 million, a net loss on extinguishment of debt of $21 million, and a tax benefit of $14 million. Excluding these items and $4 million of other net benefits, adjusted EPS for the quarter was $.78 per share, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $.74.

Its R&D costs were up almost 4 percent to $177 million from $171 million a year ago. Its SG&A spending rose 13 percent to $508 million from $449 million.

Agilent finished the quarter with $2.39 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

For the fourth quarter, Agilent forecast revenues of between $1.81 billion and $1.85 billion. Non-GAAP EPS is expected to be in the range of $.87 to $.91. The figures include the Electronic Measurement segment.

On the conference call, Sullivan said that the new Agilent comprised only of its life science, diagnostics, and applied markets businesses is anticipated to grow in the mid-single digits during the quarter, with revenues projected in the range of $1.07 billion and $1.09 billion, which would represent about 6 percent core growth at the midpoint figure.

Full-year fiscal 2014 revenues for Agilent, including Electronic Measurement, are projected at between $6.99 billion and $7.03 billion, while non-GAAP EPS is expected at $3.04 to $3.08.

Excluding Electronic Measurement, revenues for Agilent are projected to be between $4.07 billion and $4.09 billion for the full year, Sullivan said.

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