Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Agilent Technologies is a broad-based OEM of test and measurement equipment. The company’s fiscal fourth quarter results were above the Zacks Consensus estimate. The company’s decision to divest/wind up underperforming businesses has enhanced its focus on the new Agilent, while enabling expansion of a solid recurring revenue base and diversification of geographic and industrial operations for growth. Also, the company’s focus on aligning investments so as to be oriented toward more attractive growth avenues and innovative high-margin product launches are positives.  Agilent’s broad-based portfolio and increased focus on segments offer higher growth potential. However, the macro weakness in the U.S. and Europe and forex headwinds may temper revenue growth with the significant increase in operating expenses impacting the bottom line.”

A has been the subject of a number of other reports. BTIG Research reiterated a buy rating on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday. Leerink Swann started coverage on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Thursday, November 10th. They issued an outperform rating and a $53.00 price objective for the company. Bank of America Corp. set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 7th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a buy rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $49.73.

Analyst Recommendations for Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A)

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) traded up 0.09% on Thursday, reaching $45.98. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 427,977 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $14.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.89 and a beta of 1.29. Agilent Technologies has a 1-year low of $34.15 and a 1-year high of $48.63. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $45.49 and a 200-day moving average price of $45.65.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 15th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.07. Agilent Technologies had a net margin of 10.99% and a return on equity of 15.50%. The firm had revenue of $1.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.07 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.50 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Agilent Technologies will post $2.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.132 per share. This represents a $0.53 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.15%. This is a boost from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. Agilent Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.62%.

In related news, VP Rodney Gonsalves sold 8,141 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.82, for a total value of $389,302.62. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 16,322 shares in the company, valued at $780,518.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director James Cullen sold 13,574 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.52, for a total transaction of $645,036.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Agilent Technologies by 2.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,664,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $916,673,000 after buying an additional 494,723 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 0.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 13,160,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $583,792,000 after buying an additional 50,941 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 3.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,692,123 shares of the company’s stock worth $268,042,000 after buying an additional 199,609 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 112.5% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,200,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $244,870,000 after buying an additional 2,752,628 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 19.7% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,794,946 shares of the company’s stock worth $225,794,000 after buying an additional 790,219 shares during the last quarter.

Agilent Technologies Company Profile

Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:A

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