Agilent Technologies (A) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. They currently have $72.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Agilent’s expanding product portfolio, end-market strength and robust performance in China and Europe are key growth drivers. Moreover, the company’s decision to divest/wind up underperforming businesses is beneficial for its core operations. Further, the company’s focus on aligning investments towards more attractive growth avenues and innovative high-margin product launches are positive. The recently announced acquisition of Lasergen is a positive step in this regard. Meanwhile, estimates have been going up ahead of the company's Q2 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the macro weakness in some regions and unfavorable foreign exchange remain concerns. In the past year, shares have underperformed the industry it belongs to.”

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A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on A. Evercore ISI started coverage on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set an outperform rating and a $75.00 price target for the company. Barclays reiterated a buy rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Monday, January 8th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating and set a $76.00 price target on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Thursday, January 18th. JPMorgan Chase lifted their price target on shares of Agilent Technologies from $75.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Agilent Technologies from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. Agilent Technologies presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $72.48.

Shares of A opened at $63.65 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.78, a current ratio of 3.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The stock has a market cap of $21,180.22, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 1.31. Agilent Technologies has a 12-month low of $52.31 and a 12-month high of $75.00.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The medical research company reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $1.21 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.16 billion. Agilent Technologies had a net margin of 4.25% and a return on equity of 17.70%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.53 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Agilent Technologies will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 25th. Investors of record on Tuesday, April 3rd will be issued a $0.149 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 2nd. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. Agilent Technologies’s payout ratio is 25.42%.

In other Agilent Technologies news, Director Heidi Fields sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.09, for a total transaction of $340,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 57,563 shares in the company, valued at $3,919,464.67. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Patrick Kaltenbach sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.28, for a total transaction of $269,120.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 72,547 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,880,962.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 66,400 shares of company stock valued at $4,809,327.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 48,835 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $3,385,000 after purchasing an additional 771 shares in the last quarter. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 7.3% during the fourth quarter. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,406 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $764,000 after purchasing an additional 773 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 4.9% during the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 16,484 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,058,000 after purchasing an additional 774 shares in the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 18.6% during the fourth quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 5,320 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $356,000 after purchasing an additional 836 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Weatherly Asset Management L. P. lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 18.3% during the fourth quarter. Weatherly Asset Management L. P. now owns 5,668 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $380,000 after purchasing an additional 876 shares in the last quarter.

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About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions to the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets worldwide. It operates in three segments: Life Sciences and Applied Markets, Diagnostics and Genomics, and Agilent CrossLab. The Life Sciences and Applied Markets segment offers liquid chromatography systems and components; liquid chromatography mass spectrometry systems; gas chromatography systems and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry instruments; atomic absorption instruments; microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry instruments; raman spectroscopy; microfluidics based automated electrophoresis products; cell analysis plate based assays; laboratory software and informatics systems; laboratory automation; dissolution testing; vacuum pumps; and measurement technologies.

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