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Agilent 4Q net income up, forecast weak

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Agilent Technologies Inc. reported Monday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income increased 47 percent but issued a weak forecast. Its shares fell in after-hours trading on the news.

The scientific equipment maker reported net income of $425 million, or $1.20 per share, for the period that ended Oct. 31. That's compared with $289 million, or 82 cents per share, in the fourth-quarter last year.

After adjusting for acquisition costs, a tax benefit and other items affecting the period, it earned 86 cents per share in the latest quarter. On that basis, analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company to earn 80 cents per share for the period.

Agilent's revenue increased 2 percent to $1.77 billion. Analysts had forecast $1.76 billion.

Its orders were flat year over year but CEO Bill Sullivan said the company met its own revenue guidance and exceeding its per-share profit forecasts, helped in part by its highest-ever operating margins for the quarter.

Agilent said it expects to earn 65 to 67 cents per share for the current fiscal first quarter on an adjusted basis on revenue of $1.68 billion to $1.7 billion. Analysts were anticipating earnings of 76 cents per share on revenue of $1.73 billion.

It forecast earnings per share of $2.80 to $3.10 for full-year fiscal 2013 on revenue of $7 billion to $7.2 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $3.34 per share on revenue of $7.17 billion.

Agilent, based in Santa Clara, Calif., makes electronic measurement and diagnostic machines used in medicine, chemistry and other areas of scientific research

Its shares fell 90 cents, more than 2 percent, to $36.61 in after-hours trading. Its stock increased 5 percent to close regular trading at $37.51 amid a broad rally on Wall Street on Monday.