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Agilent's (A) Q4 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates, Rise Y/Y

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Agilent Technologies A reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings of $1.21 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4%. The bottom line improved 23% year over year and 10%, sequentially.

Revenues of $1.66 billion came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.65 billion. The top line was up 12% on a reported basis and 11% on a core basis from the year-ago quarter’s number. In addition, the figure increased 4.7% from the previous quarter’s level.

Top-line growth was driven by strong growth across Americas and China. Also, a robust performance delivered by all the operating segments contributed well.

Solid momentum across the Analytical Laboratory market, which grew 11% year over year and accounted for 85% of the total revenues, aided the results. Strong performance in the pharma and biotech, and chemical and energy, accelerated revenue growth in this end-market.

Additionally, Agilent witnessed 11% year over year growth in revenues generated by the diagnostic (Dx) and clinical end market (15% of total revenues). Higher diagnostic demand and strength in A’s cell analysis and mass spectrometry businesses drove the top line in this market.

Agilent Technologies, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Agilent Technologies, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Agilent Technologies, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Agilent Technologies, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Agilent Technologies, Inc. Quote

Segments in Detail

Agilent has three reporting segments, namely Life Sciences & Applied Markets Group (LSAG), Agilent Cross Lab Group (ACG), and Diagnostics and Genomics Group (DGG).

LSAG: The segment accounted for $747 million or 45% of its total revenues, up 11% year over year. This outperformance was driven by a solid momentum across pharma, and chemical and energy markets. Also, strength in cell analysis, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry platforms aided the results.

ACG: Revenues from the segment were $572 million, accounting for 34% of total revenues. Also, the top line improved 10% year over year, driven by strong growth in consumables revenues. Also, growing momentum among the contract and on-demand services contributed well.

DGG: Revenues increased 16% year over year to $341 million, accounting for the remaining 21% of total revenues. Top-line growth was driven by solid demand for genomics instrumentation and strength in Cancer Dx.

Operating Results

For the fiscal fourth quarter, the gross margin in the LSAG segment expanded 20 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 59.4%.

DGG gross margin expanded 160 bps on a year-over-year basis to 52.5%. Further, ACG gross margin expanded 160 bps to 53.4%.

Research & development costs were $116 million, up 13.7% year over year. As a percentage of revenues, the figure expanded 10 bps year over year.

Selling, general & administrative expenses were $389 million, which inched up 0.5% year over year. As a percentage of revenues, the figure contracted 270 bps year over year.

Operating margin for the fiscal fourth quarter was 23.7%, which expanded 350 bps on a year-over-year basis.

Segment-wise, the operating margin for LSAG expanded 180 bps year over year to 26.6%. The DGG segment’s operating margin expanded 50 bps on a year-over-year basis to 20.8%. ACG operating margin was 29.9%, which expanded 220 bps from the year-ago quarter’s level.

Balance Sheet

As of Oct 31, 2021, Agilent’s cash and cash equivalents were $1.48 billion, up from $1.43 billion on Jul 31, 2021. Short-term investments were $91 million at the end of the reported quarter, which was nil at the end of the previous quarter.

Accounts receivables were $1.17 billion at the fiscal fourth quarter-end, up from $1.12 billion at the fiscal third quarter-end.

Total debt (short + long term) was $2.73 billion for the reported quarter compared with $2.86 billion in the prior quarter. There was no short-term debt as of Oct 31, 2021.

Guidance

For the first-quarter fiscal 2022, Agilent expects revenues of $1.64-$1.66 billion, indicating growth between 5.9% and 7.2% on both reported and core basis. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues stands at $1.66 billion.

Non-GAAP earnings per share are expected to be $1.16-1.18. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $1.12 per share.

For fiscal 2022, Agilent expects revenues in the range of $6.65-$6.73 billion, reflecting growth of 5.2-6.5% on a reported basis and 5.5-7% on a core basis. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year revenues is pegged at $6.92 billion.

Also, management anticipates non-GAAP earnings in the range of $4.76-$4.86 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $4.73 per share.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Agilent carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Investors interested in the broader technology sector can consider some better-ranked stocks like Alphabet GOOGL, Advanced Micro Devices AMD and Mimecast MIME. While Alphabet sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Advanced Micro Devices and Mimecast carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), presently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alphabet has gained 66.9% on a year-to-date basis. The long-term earnings growth rate for the stock is currently projected at 25.8%.

Advanced Micro Devices has soared 66.3% on a year-to-date basis. The long-term earnings growth rate is currently projected at 46.2%.

Mimecast has surged 37.8% on a year-to-date basis. The long-term earnings growth rate is currently predicted at 35%.


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