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Agilent Posts 35 Percent Jump in Q4 Revenue, Strong Sales of Infinity LC

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Agilent this week reported fourth-quarter revenues of $1.58 billion, including $431 million in revenues from its Life Science Group, a 35-percent jump from $319 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

According to CEO Bill Sullivan, the company's life sciences platforms all posted double-digit sales increases with the company's liquid chromatography instruments up 21 percent, led by the strong performance of its 1290 and 1260 Infinity LC lines.

Agilent reported strong growth for the Infinity systems last quarter as well, when revenues from its LC business jumped 25 percent year-over-year (PM 08/20/2010). During the Q4 call this week, Nick Roelofs, president of the Life Science Group, cited the UHPLC segment – which the Infinity line targets – as an area where the LC business was seeing "some market expansion."

Last month, Waters CEO Douglas Berthiaume suggested that the "broad conversion" of high-performance liquid chromatography systems to ultra-performance liquid chromatography systems may represent "the largest business-growth opportunity in analytical instrumentation" (PM 10/29/2010).

Agilent's R&D spending rose 6 percent in the fourth quarter to $159 million, compared to $150 million a year ago. Its SG&A costs climbed 14 percent to $472 million from $413 million.

As of Oct. 31, the last day of its fiscal year, the company had $2.65 billion in cash and cash equivalents, with another $1.55 billion in short-term restricted cash and cash equivalents.

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