Agilent Technologies Inc. (A): Growth Company But Not Cheap

Instrumentation and measurement company Agilent (NYSE: A) reported second-quarter earnings per share of $0.43 after the bell today, beating analysts estimates by $0.2 per share. The company reported earnings per share of $0.13 for the year-ago quarter.

Revenue came in at $1.27 billion, up over 16 percent from one year ago, on orders of $1.35 billion, a YOY increase of 31 percent. This is another profitable quarter for the company. In the prior quarter, revenues increased 4 percent and net income increased 23 percent. The company had a $100 million net loss in 2009 for a negative $0.29 per share.

The company raised its earnings guidance to $1.70 to $1.75 per share for the 2010 fiscal year. Earlier this month, Agilent completed an acquisition of Varian, which is expected to add $.08 cents to earnings for the year.

Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO, commented, “Overall, Agilent had a very solid second quarter. From a market perspective, we saw year-over-year revenue growth in every region and most of the key markets that we serve. All of our businesses performed well.”

The stock traded higher in after-hours trading.

Comments: Agilent is a company doing the right things and doing things right. The company reduced inventory, completed a financial restructuring that puts them on track to save $525 million for the year, and absorbed over 40 million in various write-offs for the quarter.

Agilent businesses include chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and semiconductors, all of which showed strength. This is a solid company with good growth prospects, but on the charts the company closed below its 50-day moving average and stochastic is bearish. Still the company is stronger than many of its peers, although much of the upside potential looks priced into the stock already. The stock is dollars short of its 52-week high at the end of April, but volume is fairly consistent so expect trading in a narrow range for the near-term. But a good stock to watch for a good entry point.

Disclosure: No positions