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Agilent Posts 19 Percent Jump in Q1 Life Sciences Revenues Driven by LC, Mass Spec Sales

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Agilent Technologies this week posted a 25 percent year-over-year increase in revenues for the first quarter of 2011, including a 19 percent rise in revenues in its Life Sciences segment.

The Life Sciences jump was driven by strong sales in liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry platforms due in part to an acceleration in the instrument replacement cycle, CEO Bill Sullivan said on an investor call discussing the company's earnings.

Nick Roelofs, president of Agilent's Life Sciences group, cited in particular an increase in "big pharma replacing instrumentation" as a factor in the division's strong showing, noting that the company expects that replacement cycle "will continue now for another two years."

Roelofs also provided commentary on how current US federal budget battles might affect instrument purchases in the near term, predicting that NIH funding for research in –omics fields like genomics and proteomics wouldn't be affected.

For the three months ended Jan. 31, overall revenues were $1.52 billion, up from $1.21 billion in the first quarter of 2010. Life Sciences revenues were $404 million, up from $340 million a year ago.

Net income was $193 million, or $0.54 per share, up 144 percent compared to $79 million, or $0.22 per share, a year ago.

R&D spending in the quarter rose to $159 million, up 7 percent from $149 million.

As of Jan. 31, the company had $2.64 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

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