Hot Tech stock to watch: Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE: A)

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Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE: A) stock rose over 5% on 22nd May, 2020 (As of 12:18 pm GMT-4; Source: Google finance) as the company posted better than expected results for the second quarter of FY 20. Agilent has reported second-quarter net income of $101 million, compared to $182 million, in the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, the company’s China business is recovering better than forecasted. The company posted 4% core growth in China, with increasing strength throughout the quarter. In fact, in April, China has delivered strong growth while all other geographies have experienced declines. The company expects the China growth recovery to continue throughout the year, as lab operations and investment is resuming. The near-term outlook in Europe and the US, however, is still challenging, mainly for new equipment purchases across most end-markets and non COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

Both DGG and ACG posted core growth with DGG delivered 5% growth due to NASD, up 35% as the ramp of that business continues as planned. ACG rose 1%. The LSAG business had fallen 7% as customers curtailed equipment purchases, although the company did have pockets of growth in biopharma, cell analysis, and COVID-19 testing and research. From an end market perspective, Pharma posted growth of 5% in the quarter, followed by 4% growth in Diagnostics and Clinical. The Food market is recovering with a modest 1% growth due to China. The Environmental and Forensics business has fallen by 1% for the quarter.

A in the second quarter of FY 20 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of 71 cents, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of 61 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet. The company had reported flat adjusted revenue to $1.24 billion in the second quarter of FY 20, beating the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $1.21 billion. On a core basis, revenue fell 1.7% in the quarter. The pacing of revenue during the second quarter varied significantly by region, driven by where each region was in the cycle of precautionary measures being taken to slow the spread of the virus. The operating margins had improved 50 basis points to 22.4% over last year on flat revenue. Gross Margin was down 60 basis points to 55.4% compared to the prior year mostly due to volume and the revenue mix shifting more toward services.

Additionally, the company in the quarter had repurchased 1.66 million shares for $126 million. In late March, however, the company had suspended all share repurchases to maximize the liquidity and financial position. The company had ended the quarter in a strong position with $2.1 billion in available liquidity, including $1.3 billion in cash and roughly $800 million available under the revolving credit facility.

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