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

By Sean Williams – Feb 13, 2014 at 6:08PM

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Agilent Technologies reports a modest profit increase on flat revenue growth, but sends shareholders running for the hills in after-hours trading after lowering its sales and profit outlook.

Life science, diagnostic, and electronic instrumentation and measurement company Agilent Technologies (A 2.68%) 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.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool has no position in any companies mentioned in this article. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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