Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $74.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Agilent Technologies is a broad-based OEM of test and measurement equipment. The company’s fiscal second quarter results were above the Zacks Consensus estimate. Year to date, the stock has outperformed the Industry it belongs to. The company’s decision to divest/wind up underperforming businesses has enhanced its focus on the new Agilent, while enabling expansion of a solid recurring revenue base and diversification of geographic and industrial operations for growth. Also, the company’s focus on aligning investments so as to be oriented toward more attractive growth avenues and innovative high-margin product launches are positives. Agilent’s broad-based portfolio and increased focus on segments offer higher growth potential. However, the macro weakness in the U.S. and Europe and forex headwinds remain concerns.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on A. BidaskClub lowered shares of Agilent Technologies from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, August 12th. Janney Montgomery Scott upped their target price on shares of Agilent Technologies from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed an overweight rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $68.00 target price on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation upped their target price on shares of Agilent Technologies from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. Agilent Technologies has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $65.12.

Shares of Agilent Technologies (A) opened at 66.99 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $65.29 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.91. The firm has a market cap of $21.56 billion, a PE ratio of 34.55 and a beta of 1.30. Agilent Technologies has a 12 month low of $42.92 and a 12 month high of $67.82.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 15th. The medical research company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.07. Agilent Technologies had a net margin of 14.36% and a return on equity of 16.95%. The company had revenue of $1.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.09 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.49 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Agilent Technologies will post $2.32 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 25th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.132 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 2nd. This represents a $0.53 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.79%. Agilent Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is 27.32%.

In other news, CFO Didier Hirsch sold 15,555 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.00, for a total transaction of $1,026,630.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 178,557 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,784,762. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Mark Doak sold 12,421 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.57, for a total transaction of $764,760.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 165,720 shares of company stock valued at $10,488,739.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,392,338 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,387,400,000 after buying an additional 273,119 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,093,669 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,310,374,000 after buying an additional 637,698 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 14,457,425 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $764,348,000 after buying an additional 147,518 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 45.2% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 12,145,610 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $720,358,000 after buying an additional 3,779,099 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,721,557 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $339,346,000 after purchasing an additional 84,801 shares during the period.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business.

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