Agilent Technologies (A - Free Report) recently announced that its board of directors has increased its quarterly dividend. In fact, the company has been consistently rewarding its shareholders through dividends.
On a year-to-date basis, Agilent’s shares have outperformed the industry it belongs to.The stock has lost 3% compared with the industry’s decline of 3.1% in the said period.
The company’s investor-friendly announcement might further give a lift to the stock.
Agilent, a broad-based OEM of test and measurement equipment, raised its quarterly dividend to 16.4 cents per share. The new dividend, which has been approved by the company’s board of directors, will be paid to investors on Jan 23, 2019.
We believe that 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 business. Agilent has a stable dividend payment history, as is evident from its past records.
Agilent has a strong capital management policy in place. Based in Palo Alto, CA, the 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 2018, the company returned $48 million to its shareholders through dividends. Cash and cash equivalents were $2.1 billion compared with $3.01 billion in the prior-year quarter.
In fact, we believe that dividend hikes are a good way of building investor confidence, as these enhance shareholder value.
Agilent is set to report fiscal fourth-quarter 2018 results on Nov 19.
For the fiscal fourth quarter, the company expects to post revenues between $1.24 billion and $1.26 billion, and non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of 72-74 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $1.26 billion and that of earnings stands at 73 cents per share.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Currently, Agilent flaunts a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are boohoo group plc (BHOOY - Free Report) , QuinStreet, Inc. (QNST - Free Report) and AMETEK, Inc. (AME - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for boohoo group, QuinStreet and AMETEK is currently pegged at 25%, 25% and 11.18%, respectively.
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