Agilent Technologies 1Q profit soars

Monday, February 13th 2006, 10:23 am
By: News On 6

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Agilent Technologies Inc., a maker of electronic test and measurement products, said Monday that its fiscal first-quarter profit ballooned, lifted by a gain from the sale of its semiconductor products business and its stake in Lumileds.

Shares of Agilent, which have traded between $20.11 and $36.10 over the last year, were down $1.33, or 3.7 percent, at $34.54 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is down almost 19 percent since it began trading on the NYSE in November 1999 following its spinoff from Hewlett Packard Co.

Net income grew to $2.82 billion, or $5.83 per share, from $103 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago. The company said results were lifted by a gain of $1.84 billion from the sale of its semiconductor products business and the sale of its 47 percent stake of Lumileds.

Income from continuing operations totaled $901 million, or $2.03 per share. Excluding one-time items, the company reported adjusted earnings of $154 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with adjusted earnings of $71 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10 percent to $1.33 billion from $1.21 billion last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of 30 cents on revenue of $1.36 billion.

Looking forward, the company said it expects adjusted net income of 35 cents to 40 cents per share in the second quarter, with revenue of $1.37 billion to $1.43 billion, up 6 to 12 percent from last year. Analysts expect the company to earn 36 cents per share on revenue of $1.4 billion.

For the full year, the company said it remains comfortable with the range of analyst estimates for adjusted net income. Wall Street analysts have pegged the company to earn between $1.25 and $1.65 per share, with the median estimate at $1.48 per share.

The company also said it still expects its planned initial public offering of its semiconductor-test products business to take place near midyear 2006. Agilent said last month it would name the spun-off company Verigy.

Agilent, which was formed in 1999 when Hewlett-Packard split off its measurement business, unveiled a reorganization plan last August under which it would shed its chip unit and spin off other assets as it concentrated on the test-and-measurement business.

At the time, the company said it would cut 1,300 jobs.

In December, Agilent completed the spinoff of Avago Technologies Inc., a deal announced in August. Under the terms of the agreement, private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake Partners bought the company for $2.66 billion, and are equal partners in the venture.