Agilent Technologies' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Agilent Technologies (A)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

February 15, 2012 4:30 pm ET


Alicia Rodriguez -

William P. Sullivan - Chief Executive Officer, President, Executive Director and Member of Executive Committee

Didier Hirsch - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President

Ronald S. Nersesian - Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President

Guy Sene - Senior Vice President and President Electronic Measurement Group

Michael R. McMullen - Senior Vice President and President of Chemical Analysis Group

Nicolas H. Roelofs - Senior Vice President and President of Life Sciences Group


Nandita Koshal - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Jon Davis Wood - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Tycho W. Peterson - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

William Stein - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Derik De Bruin - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Jonathan P. Groberg - Macquarie Research

Vijar Kumar

Richard C. Eastman - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Doug Schenkel - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

Paul R. Knight - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

Isaac Ro - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Ajit Pai - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Daniel Silver - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the First Quarter 2012 Agilent Technologies Earnings Conference Call. My name is Keith, and I'll be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded for replay purposes. And I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Ms. Alicia Rodriguez, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Alicia Rodriguez

Thank you, Keith, and welcome, everyone, to Agilent's First Quarter Conference Call for Fiscal Year 2012. With me are Agilent's President and CEO, Bill Sullivan; as well as Senior Vice President and CFO, Didier Hirsch. Joining in the Q&A after Didier's comments will be Agilent's Chief Operating Officer, Ron Nersesian; and the Presidents of our Electronic Measurement, Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis Groups, Guy Sene, Nick Roelofs and Mike McMullen.

You can find the press release and information to supplement today's discussion on our website at While there, please check -- click on the link for Financial Results, where you will find revenue breakouts and historical financials for Agilent's operations. We will also post a copy of the prepared remarks following this call.

For any non-GAAP financial measures, you will find the most directly comparable GAAP financial metrics and reconciliations on our website. We will make forward-looking statements about the financial performance of the company. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and are only valid as of today. The company assumes no obligation to update them. Please look at the company's recent SEC filings for a more complete picture of our risks and other factors.

Before turning the call over to Bill, I would like to remind you that Agilent will host its annual Analyst Meeting in New York City on March 8. Details about the meeting and webcast will be available on the Agilent Investor Relations website 2 weeks prior.

And now I'd like to turn the call over to Bill.

William P. Sullivan

Thanks, Alicia, and hello, everyone. Agilent's Q1 orders of $1.62 billion were flat versus last year. Q1 revenues of $1.64 billion were up 7% year-over-year. Non-GAAP EPS was $0.69 per share, and operating margin was 19%. We generated $150 million of cash from operations and ended the quarter with $1.6 billion in net cash. Our Q1 performance was a solid start to fiscal year 2012.

Electronic Measurement revenues were $778 million, up 1% over last year. Operating margin was 21% of revenue, a 58% increment for the quarter. We saw strength in Aerospace and Defense, up 5%; industrial, computer and semiconductor markets were up 6%, with strength in the industrial subsegment partially offset by continued weakness in computer and semiconductors.

We also saw an unexpected decline in the communications markets, down 8% year-over-year. The causes were twofold. First, there was the decline in wireless infrastructure or base stations for global network equipment manufacturers. This was coupled with a substantial decrease in demand from Chinese infrastructure vendors. Second, there was a significant decrease in investment in RF component supply chain. This decline overwhelmed our double-digit growth in handset test. While we believe this is a pause, we are taking a conservative position in our guidance.

In our bioanalytical measurement businesses, you'll recall that a year ago, we experienced some revenue delays from the Varian integration. This resulted in easier compares for our first quarter in fiscal year 2012.

Chemical Analysis revenues of $396 million were up 14% year-over-year. Operating margin was 22%. Life Sciences revenues of $461 million were up 14% over a year ago. Operating margin was 14%. All key markets remained strong. Environmental revenue was up 16% year-over-year, food was up 14%, and petrochemical grew 14%. Pharma and biotech was up 18%, while academic and government grew 7%.

We made a number of announcements in the first quarter. First, with our continued focus on maximizing Agilent's operations and improving gross margins, we named Ron Nersesian to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Ron led the recent transformation of our Electronic Measurement business. Under Ron, we also centralized Agilent's order fulfillment operations. The new global organization should better enable us to leverage our worldwide scale and scope in manufacturing, procurement and logistics. For example, we have started shipping NMR sample loading automation and carry UV-Vis spectroscopy products out of Penang.

Second, we have registered Agilent Infinity 1200 LC and 6000 MS instruments as Class 1 medical devices with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is an important step for Agilent's strategic initiative in the diagnostics market.

Third, we announced 4 acquisitions in the first quarter. These include Halo Genomics, which expands our SureSelect portfolio and BioSystems Development, which expands our Life Science capabilities and sample prep.

Finally, in January, we announced that Agilent would initiate a quarterly cash dividend. This is a reflection of Agilent's financial strength and continued growth opportunities and underscores our commitment to enhance shareholder value and return.

For the second quarter, we expect revenues in the range of $1.7 billion to $1.72 billion. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be in the range of $0.71 to $0.73 per share. The midpoint of our EPS guidance for the year remains unchanged. This outlook assumes several factors. One, Electronic Measurement will grow approximately 2% for the remainder of the year; two, we will see continued solid performance in Chemical Analysis and Life Science, resulting in overall Agilent growth rate of approximately 5%. Revenue growth will be back half loaded, and we will have easier year-over-year comparisons. And finally, we will continue to deliver market-leading products while we make progress in optimizing our order fulfillment operations.

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