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Agilent Technologies (A) Beats on Q2 Earnings, Revenues

Agilent Technologies’ A fiscal second-quarter 2016 earnings per share of 44 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents and came above management’s guided range.

Following the strong fiscal second-quarter results, the share price rose more than 3%.

Revenues

Agilent’s fiscal second-quarter 2016 revenues of $1.02 billion were down 0.9% sequentially but up 5.8% year over year. Revenues came above management’s guided range of $965 million to $985 million as well as the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $999 million.

Revenue growth was supported by continued strength in the pharma, diagnostics and clinical markets across all geographical regions.

Revenues by Geography

Asia/Pacific contributed 36% of the total fiscal second-quarter revenue and was up 5.7% sequentially; Americas contributed 35% and was up 1.4% sequentially; while Europe accounted for the remaining 29% but was down 10.3% sequentially.

Revenues by Segment

Agilent now has three reporting segments — Life Sciences & Applied Markets Group (LSAG), Agilent Cross Lab Group (ACG) and Diagnostics and Genomics Group (DGG). Its Electronic Measurement Group (EMG) segment has been spun off as Keysight Technologies, an independent, publicly traded company. Agilent also exited the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance business as it failed to meet growth and profitability goals. The company divested or shut down underperforming units to streamline operations.

In the reported quarter, LSAG was the largest contributor and accounted for $495 million or 48% of total revenue, up 5% year over year. Strong performance in pharma, food and environmental markets led to growth.

Revenues from ACG came in at $346million or 33% of total revenue and up 8% year over year. Both services and consumables witnessed growth across all geographical regions.

Revenues from DGG came in at$178 million or 19% of total revenue. The segment was up 5% year over year. All businesses under this group (Dako, Genomics and Nucleic Acid Solutions) performed well.

Margins

The pro-forma gross margin for the quarter was 52.0%, down 23 basis points (bps) sequentially and 178 bps year over year.

Adjusted operating expenses increased 0.9% from the last quarter but decreased 4.0% from the year-ago period. As a result, operating margin of 19.1% was down 81 bps sequentially but up 159 bps year over year.

Operating margins of the LSAG, ACG and DGG segments were 19.0%, 21.5% and 15.0%, respectively.

Net Income

Agilent generated pro-forma net income of $145 million, or 14.2% of sales, compared with $129 million, or 13.0%, a year ago. Our pro-forma estimate excludes acquisition-related costs, restructuring charges, amortization of intangibles and other one-time items, as well as tax adjustments.

Including these items, GAAP net income was $91 million (28 cents per share) compared with $87 million (26 cents) in the year-ago quarter.

Balance Sheet

Exiting fiscal second quarter, inventories were $555 million, slightly up from $554 in the prior quarter. Agilent’s long-term debt was $1.65 billion at the end of the quarter. Cash and cash equivalents were $2.14 billion versus $1.93 billion in the prior quarter.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $256 million and capital expenditure was $25 million.

Guidance

Agilent issued guidance for the fiscal third quarter and raised its projections for fiscal 2016.

For the fiscal third quarter, Agilent expects revenues within $1.03 billion to $1.05 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of 45 cents to 47 cents. Analysts polled by Zacks expect earnings of 47 cents per share and revenues of $1.04 billion.

For fiscal 2016, Agilent now projects revenues between $4.16 billion and$4.18 billion (previous expectations of $4.10 billion and $4.12 billion) and non-GAAP earnings per share in the $1.88–$1.92 range (previous expectation of $1.81 to $1.87 range). Analysts polled by Zacks expect earnings of $1.86 per share and revenues to the tune of $4.12 billion.

Recommendation

Agilent delivered robust fiscal second-quarter 2016 results with both the top line and the bottom line surpassing the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The company’s decision to divest/wind up underperforming businesses has enhanced its focus on the new Agilent, while enabling expansion of a solid recurring revenue base and diversification of geographic and industrial operations for growth. Also, the company’s focus on aligning investments toward more attractive growth avenues and innovative product launches is a positive.

In addition, we remain positive on Agilent’s broader portfolio and increased focus on segments with higher growth potential. Further, the company continues to introduce high-margin products.

Foreign currency headwinds may hurt revenues and profits, but the company seems prepared to counter them.

Agilent carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors may also consider stocks like are Fabrinet FN, Rogers Corporation ROG and TDK Corporation TTDKY, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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