Agilent Technologies (A) Marked As Today's Roof Leaker Stock

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.

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 $107.5 million.
  • A has traded 1.6 million shares today.
  • A is trading at 4.09 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 solutions and services to the life sciences, diagnostics and genomics, chemical analysis, communications, and electronics industries worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 0.9%. A has a PE ratio of 28. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Agilent Technologies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Agilent Technologies has been 2.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Agilent has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The stock has a beta of 0.89 and a short float of 1% with 1.10 days to cover. Shares are up 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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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, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel its 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, 0.40, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.98, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.
  • AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC reported lower earnings of $0.98 versus $2.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $0.98).
  • The gross profit margin for AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.74%. 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 8.61% trails the industry average.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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