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Agilent Technologies Reports Fourth Quarter 2007 Results


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today reported orders of $1.48 billion for the fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31, 2007, 6 percent above one year ago. Revenues during the quarter were $1.45 billion, 9 percent above last year. Fourth quarter GAAP net income was $180 million, or $0.46 per diluted share. Last year’s fourth quarter GAAP net income from continuing operations was $126 million, or $0.31 per share.

Included in this quarter’s GAAP income is $36 million of share-based compensation expense. Excluding this item and $10 million of other net adjustments, Agilent reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $206 million, or $0.53 per share. On a comparable basis, the company earned $190 million, or $0.45 per share, one year ago.(1)

“Agilent had a good fiscal fourth quarter, especially considering the continued divergent trends of our markets,” said Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and chief executive officer. “Bio-analytical markets were strong in both Chemical Analysis and Life Sciences, and across all geographies. Electronic measurement markets were very mixed, with strength in aerospace / defense and wireless R&D, a flat profile for wireless handset and electronic manufacturing test, and weakness in computer and semiconductor markets.”

Total fourth quarter revenues were up 9 percent from last year to $1.45 billion. Adjusted net income per share, at $0.53, was 18 percent above last year’s results and near the top of the $0.50 - $0.54 guidance range.

Sullivan noted that the Bio-Analytical segment grew at a double-digit pace for the sixth consecutive quarter, and that the segment operating margin was at a record level. “We are seeing sustained strength in our new Liquid Chromatograph, Mass Spectroscopy and Gas Chromatograph platforms, and Stratagene integration activities continue to go well. Last week, we announced the acquisition of Velocity11, adding lab automation to our expanding workflow solutions.”

“While the Electronic Measurement segment was flat overall, we saw good growth in those areas where we have invested in specific growth initiatives, such as aerospace / defense and wireless R&D,” said Sullivan.

Fourth quarter Return on Invested Capital(2) reached a new high of 30 percent, a point better than last year’s strong performance. Both Receivables Days-Sales-Outstanding and Inventory Days-On-Hand reached new historic lows. Cash generated from operating activities was $398 million in the fourth quarter. During the period, the company repurchased $631 million of its common stock, completing its $2 billion buyback program.

Full fiscal 2007 revenues grew 9 percent to $5.4 billion. Adjusted net income per share rose 22 percent to $1.82. Return on Invested Capital reached 27 percent, and cash generated from operating activities during fiscal 2007 was $969 million.

Said Sullivan, “Today, Agilent’s Board of Directors authorized a new program to repurchase up to $2 billion of Agilent’s common shares, reflecting its confidence in Agilent’s ability to create superior shareholder value, leveraging our operating model through higher sustainable growth.”

Looking ahead, Sullivan said the company was comfortable with the range of analyst estimates for FY2008 revenues and adjusted net income per share.(3) For the fiscal first quarter of 2008, revenues are expected to be in the range of $1.35 billion to $1.40 billion, up 5 percent to 9 percent from last year.

Comparisons of this year’s first quarter adjusted net income will be affected by a change in the timing of Agilent’s annual compensation awards program, and by a shift toward more variable compensation. Compared to last year, about $32 million more compensation-related expense will be recognized in Q1FY08. That $0.06 per share cost increase will be offset by a $0.04 reduction in Q2 expense, and by $0.01 reductions in FY08’s Q3 and Q4. Reflecting this changed pattern of compensation expense, first quarter adjusted net income is expected to be in the range of $0.38 to $0.43 per share, 15 percent to 30 percent above last year’s comparable earnings.(4)


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