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Agilent Swings to Profit

The company expects to exceed analysts' estimates in the coming quarter.
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Shares of Agilent (A) - Get Agilent Technologies, Inc. Report were higher in after-hours trading after the electronic instrument maker said second-quarter earnings met analysts' estimates, while third-quarter results would exceed the Wall Street consensus.

Agilent posted second-quarter net income of $104 million, or 21 cents a share, compared to a loss of $146 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding $15 million of net restructuring and amortization charges in the latest quarter, the company said operating income rose to $119 million, or 24 cents a share, from $72 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier. Those results met a consensus estimate of Thomson First Call.

Second-quarter revenue of $1.89 billion also beat First Call estimates of $1.69 billion, rising 25% from a year earlier.

In its largest operating segment, test and measurement orders rose 23% to $745 million. Compared to last year, orders were up in all geographies and all markets except wireline telecommunications. Revenues of $705 million were 8% above last year and 10% ahead of the "seasonally soft" third quarter.

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Agilent said its businesses were "clearly picking up," while noting that its "remaining challenge is to demonstrate superior performance on the bottom line."

For the seasonally soft third quarter, Agilent expects to post operating earnings of 25 cents to 30 cents a share on revenue of $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion, better than First Call's estimate for earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $1.71 billion.

For the fourth quarter, the company currently anticipates revenue to be roughly $50 million above the third quarter and operating EPS to be up an additional 5 cents a share.

First Call was expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $1.83 billion.

Shares of Agilent were recently up 2.9% to $26.25 in after-hours trading after closing the regular session up a penny to $25.52.