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Agilent Technologies: Q1 Profit Rises 9%, but Full-Year Outlook Is Lowered

Life science, diagnostic, and electronic instrumentation and measurement company Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A  ) reported modest net income expansion after the closing bell this evening, but disappointed investors by lowering its full-year top- and bottom-line guidance.

For the first-quarter, Agilent reported flat year-over-year revenue of $1.68 billion. Revenue was aided by a 5% improvement in life sciences revenue, marking strong growth diagnostic and clinical study programs for biopharmaceutical companies, as well as a 6% jump in chemical analysis revenue. Hurting sales was a 7% decline in its electronic measurement segment, as weaker aerospace and defense spending, likely spurred by tighter federal spending, negatively affected orders.

Overall net income for the quarter expanded 9%, to $195 million from $179 million in the prior year. Excluding one-time costs, adjusted net income totaled $226 million, or $0.67 per share. Agilent also managed to generate $194 million in cash from operations in the first quarter as its expenses were also flat at $1.46 billion compared to last year.

Agilent also notes that its plan to split into two separate companies – an electronic measurement company and a life sciences/diagnostics company -- appears to be on track to occur in November.

Looking ahead, Agilent is forecasting full-year revenue to range between $6.9 billion and $7.1 billion, representing growth of 3% at the midpoint compared to 2013, with EPS in the range of $2.96 to $3.16. For context, Agilent reported full-year EPS of $2.10 in 2013. The concern with this guidance is that, in November, Agilent had guided toward $6.95 billion-$7.15 billion in revenue on $3.03-$3.33 in EPS.

Shares were down 6% in after hours at the time of this writing.

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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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