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Agilent Technologies Rewards Shareholders, Hikes Dividend

Agilent Technologies A recently announced that its board of directors has increased its quarterly dividend. In fact, the company has been consistently rewarding its shareholders through dividends. 

Shareholder-friendly Move

Agilent, a broad-based OEM of test and measurement equipment, raised its quarterly dividend to 14.9 cents per share. The new dividend, which has been approved by the company’s board of directors, will be paid to investors on Jan 24, 2018 to stockholders on record as of Jan 2, 2018. Agilent

We believe the dividend hike not only highlights Agilent’s commitment toward creating value for shareholders but also underlines the company’s financial condition and confidence in its business. It is evident from the past records that Agilent has a stable dividend payment history.

Price Performance

So far this year, Agilent’s shares have outperformed the industry. The stock has been up 50.9% compared with the industry’s growth of 48.5%.

 

The company’s investor-friendly announcement might further give a lift to the stock.

Bottom Line

Agilent has a strong capital management policy in place. Based in Palo Alto, CA, this company’s initiatives are well supported by its solid cash flow generation, which in turn is driven by sustained solid operational performance.

Moreover, Agilent’s efforts toward enhancing shareholder wealth through dividends are impressive. In the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the company returned $42 million to its shareholders through dividends. Cash and cash equivalents were $2.56 billion compared with $2.39 billion in the prior quarter.

In fact, we believe that the dividend hikes are a good way of building investor confidence as these return shareholder value.

Agilent is set to report fiscal fourth-quarter 2017 results on Nov 20.

For the upcoming fiscal fourth quarter, Agilent expects to post revenues between $1.15 billion and $1.17 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of 60-62 cents. Analysts polled by Zacks anticipate revenues of $1.17 billion and earnings of 63 cents per share.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Agilent carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are NVIDIA Corporation NVDA and SMART Global Holdings, Inc. SGH sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Long-term earnings per share growth rate for NVIDIA Corporation, SMART Global and Applied Materials is projected to be 11.2%, 15.0% and 17.1%, respectively.

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NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (SGH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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