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Profit Slumps at Agilent

The company also forecasts its current quarter will fall below expectations.
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Second-quarter profit slipped at Agilent (A) , as revenue dropped 8%.

In addition, the company said third-quarter earnings would come in below the current Street consensus.

The maker of technology measurement instruments said after the bell Monday that net income for the quarter ended April 30 fell to $95 million, or 19 cents a share, from $104 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding $6 million composed largely of restructuring charges and tax benefits, Agilent posted operating earnings of $101 million, or 20 cents share, just missing analysts' consensus estimate of 21 cents a share, but within the company's latest guidance of 18 cents to 23 cents a share.

"Agilent had a solid second-quarter performance," said Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "We demonstrated operational discipline and excellent cash generation in very challenging markets."

Revenue dropped to $1.69 billion in the quarter from $1.83 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.67 billion.

Agilent said second-quarter orders in its automated test segment of $171 million were down 40% from a year ago, with all product lines off. Sequentially, the picture is mixed, the company said, with SOC and manufacturing test up but flash memory and parametric test lower. While Agilent expects the rebound to be very slow because of excess overall industry capacity, the recovery is expected to continue and broaden during this year's second half.

For the third quarter, the company expects revenue of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion, with the beginning of a modest rebound in its semiconductor-related businesses offsetting the company's normally weak third quarter seasonality. Operating earnings are expected to be in the range of 23 cents to 28 cents a share, below the current First Call consensus of 31 cents a share.

As for the fourth quarter, normal fourth quarter seasonality would suggest a range of revenue about 5% above the third quarter and an increase in operating earnings of about 10 cents a share.

The First Call consensus for the fourth quarter is earnings of 36 cents a share and revenue of $1.88 billion.

Agilent closed Thursday down 43 cents, or 2%, to $21.56.