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5 Things That Stood Out In Another Beat And Raise Quarter From Agilent

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5 Things That Stood Out In Another Beat And Raise Quarter From Agilent

Shares of Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE: A) gained more than 4 percent after the company reported a better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings report. Jefferies' Brandon Couillard maintains a Buy rating on Agilent's stock after the earnings print with a price target boosted from $66 to $70 as it represents a "clear standout" relative to the "less inspirational" trends seen in its peers.

5 Takeaways

The analyst continued with five main takeaways from the report:

1. Core Growth: Agilent delivered a core growth of 7.5 percent in the quarter, which exceeded the analyst's expectations of 4 percent and a 5-percent average for its peers. The company also delivered a 20-percent organic earnings per share growth.

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2. C&E Strength: Agilent's chemical and engineering unit represents 25 percent of the overall sales mix and showed signs of "turning the corner" based on its 10-percent revenue growth and a second straight quarter of double-digit growth. Heading into 2018 the new Intuvo GC represents a multi-year upgrade cycle.

3. Pharma Strength: Agilent also delivered a +10 percent growth in the pharma segment and there are no signs of any slowdown in the broader market. In fact, the company is expected to continue gaining market share moving forward.

4. Encouraging Guidance: Agilent boosted its core growth outlook for the full fiscal year from 5 percent to 6 percent, which implies only a 3.5-percent growth rate in the fourth quarter — a figure that appears to be conservative based on recent momentum.

5. Top Pick In Tools: Finally, Agilent is a top pick in the space given its above market growth rates, margins and free cash flow conversion.

At last check, shares of Agilent were up 3.2 percent on the day at $61.28.

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Image Credit: Agilent Headquarters' Lobby, By Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company (http://www.hdcco.com/projects/agilent-ark/) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

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