Back to top

Analyst Blog

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at support@zacks.com or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (A - Analyst Report), a broad-based OEM of test and measurement equipment has authorized the repurchase of shares up to $500 million of the company’s common stock during fiscal 2013.

Additionally, the company also announced its decision to raise the quarterly dividend by two cents to 12 cents per share. This translates into a 20% increase from the prior dividend. The increased dividend will be paid on April 24, 2013, to stockholders of record on April 24, 2013. Prior to this announcement, Agilent had been paying a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share.

The strength of Agilent’s business model reflects the company’s commitment toward returning value to shareholders with its strong cash generation capabilities. We believe that the continued share buybacks and dividend hike will increase investor enthusiasm for the shares.

Agilent’s strong balance sheet and cash flows provide financial flexibility in matters of incremental dividend, share repurchases and accretive acquisitions. During the last concluded quarter, Agilent spent $94 million on share repurchases and $34 million on dividends. The cash and cash equivalents were $2.4 billion at quarter-end, having increased $0.5 billion during the quarter. The debt cap ratio was just 28.9%. We remain encouraged by Agilent’s strong cash position and its ability to service its long-term debts.

Agilent reported decent fourth quarter results, with both revenue and earnings per share surpassing our expectations. Agilent’s leadership position, history of innovation, strengthening end markets, stable gross margins, steadily improving operating margins, and position in China are all positives. The increase in dividend indicates that the company is confident about its steady cash flows.

However, an uncertain macro conditions, particularly in the U.S. and Europe and a softer-than-expected earnings guidance increased concerns regarding near-term performance. Hence, Agilent has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

However, all companies with testing portfolios are not doing as bad however. You may consider companies like Teradyne (TER - Analyst Report) and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (TMO - Analyst Report) which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and Danaher Corp. (DHR - Analyst Report) which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
DIXIE GRP IN DXYN 15.84 +7.90%
BOFI HLDG IN BOFI 85.30 +4.97%
RAMBUS INC RMBS 12.31 +4.41%
VIPSHOP HOLD VIPS 148.73 +4.35%
NETFLIX INC NFLX 345.74 +4.32%