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Agilent (A) Hikes Dividend to 19.4 Cents, Rewards Shareholders

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

Agilent’s shares have gained 38.3% in the past year, outperforming 22.9% rally of the industry it belongs to.

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

Shareholder-Friendly Move

Agilent — a broad-based OEM of test and measurement equipment — raised quarterly dividend to 19.4 cents per share, reflecting an increase of 8% from the previous quarter’s dividend.

The new dividend, which has been approved by the board of directors, will be paid to investors on Jan 27, 2021.

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

Bottom Line

Agilent has a strong capital management policy in place. The company’s initiatives are well supported by solid cash flow generation, which in turn is driven solid operational performance.

Moreover, Agilent’s efforts to enhance shareholder wealth through dividends are impressive. In third-quarter fiscal 2020, the company repurchased 360,000 shares for $33 million, and paid $56 million in dividends. Cash and cash equivalents were $1.36 billion for the last reported quarter, up from $1.32 billion in the prior quarter.

We believe that dividend hikes are a good way of building investor confidence, as these enhance shareholder value.

Agilent is set to report fiscal first-quarter 2020 results on Nov 23.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Agilent carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Marchex (MCHX - Free Report) , (OSTK - Free Report) and Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.  (MXIM - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Long-term earnings growth for Marchex,, and Maxim is currently projected at 15%, 20% and 10%, respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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