Roof Leaker To Watch: Agilent Technologies (A)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Agilent Technologies ( A) as a "roof leaker" (crossing below the 200-day simple moving average on higher than normal relative volume) candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Agilent Technologies as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • A has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $76.0 million.
  • A has traded 3.0 million shares today.
  • A is trading at 4.32 times the normal volume for the stock at this time of day.
  • A crossed below its 200-day simple moving average.

'Roof Leaker' stocks are worth watching because trading stocks that begin to experience a breakdown can lead to potentially massive losses. Once psychological and technical resistance barriers like the 200-day moving average are breached on higher than normal relative volume, the stock may then be subject to emotional selling from investors that can continue to drive the stock lower. Regardless of the impetus behind the price and volume action, when a stock moves with weakness and volume it can indicate the start of a new, potentially dangerous, trend.

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More details on A:

Agilent Technologies, Inc. provides bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions and services to the life sciences, chemical analysis, diagnostics and genomics, communications, and electronics industries worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 0.9%. A has a PE ratio of 26.9. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Agilent Technologies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

The average volume for Agilent Technologies has been 1.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Agilent has a market cap of $18.9 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The stock has a beta of 1.51 and a short float of 0.8% with 2.30 days to cover. Shares are down 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Agilent Technologies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.48, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, A has a quick ratio of 2.24, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $325.00 million or 3.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -48.22%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.89%. Regardless of A's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 8.03% trails the industry average.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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