Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

and its former unit,

Agilent Technologies

(A) - Get Report

, said Thursday they've signed a letter of intent to discuss pursuing business initiatives together.

Agilent, which was spun off from Hewlett-Packard in 1999 and became independent last June, is a maker of test and measurement equipment. The companies have since worked closely to design many circuits and technologies, they said.

"Once executed, such a strategic alliance agreement would formalize our collaborative relationship and enable each company to capitalize on joint marketing and product development opportunities,'' Agilent said in a statement.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Shares of Agilent, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., leaped $3.20, or 10.1%, to $34.80 in regular session

New York Stock Exchange

trading. Hewlett-Packard was also up, gaining $1.66, or 5.7%, to $30.89 on the Big Board.