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Agilent Launches New Stain Solution

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Dako, an Agilent Technologies (A) subsidiary, recently announced the addition of the new Jenner-Wright Giemsa stain to its Dako Artisan Link portfolio.

Agilent acquired the Danish cancer diagnostics company, Dako, for $2.2 billion (on a debt-free basis) in 2012. Dako provides antibodies, scientific instruments and software mainly to cancer-related diagnostic labs and develops methods to identify patients likely to benefit from certain therapies in collaboration with drug companies.

Dako's Artisan portfolio, consisting of 31 high-quality stains, provides the pathology labs with a broad range of automated special stains. The portfolio enables labs to enhance productivity through the automated Artisan Link Pro instrument. These special stain solutions allow pathologists to make quicker and more informed diagnoses, in turn allowing oncologists to prescribe the relevant therapy in relatively less time.

The new stain solution, Jenner-Wright Giemsa stain, provides clear differentiation and details of the hematopoietic cells in bone marrow tissue samples which helps in the diagnosis of cancer, aplastic anemia and myelofibrosis. This solution will allow pathologist to visualize the cell morphology better.

Currently, the healthcare sector is witnessing a revolution and special stain solutions are playing an important part in easy and accurate diagnostics. It has been found that not all treatments are same for cancer patients or any other patients, as some cancer patients require solutions that are more specialized. The whole process may revolutionize the healthcare system, as these stain solutions may become helpful in improving patient care and reducing medical bills.

Agilent Technologies is a broad-based original equipment manufacturer of test and measurement equipment. In the last few years, Agilent has been increasing focus on the life sciences, genomics, diagnostics and wireless test markets, where it has made a few important acquisitions. In October last year, Agilent entered into an agreement with ABC Instrumentacion Analytica to acquire its assets.

Agilent’s revenues in the first quarter were down 2.3% sequentially and 0.06% year over year. The major portion of revenues came from the Asia/Pacific region, which contributed 37%, followed by the Americas with 33% and Europe, which accounted for the balance.

However, earnings per share of 67 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny, helped by good expense control and stronger mix.

Agilent’s shares carry a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other stocks that are performing well at current levels include Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (MPEL), Ametek Inc. (AME) and Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (BRCD). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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