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Agilent stock plunge on weak guidance

Agilent Technologies (A) continued its year-long streak of beating analysts’ earnings estimates and followed the same for the second quarter, with revenue coming in at $1.20 billion, up 9% year-over-year, driven by strength across the company’s business segments. Profit for the quarter surged 25% to $205 million or $0.63 per share, aided by the company’s strong top-line results, fulfilled by the pharma and Chemical & Energy markets. Adjusted earnings came in at $0.65 per share, up 12% from 2017.

“On the innovation front, we are seeing strong momentum in our newly released products and are continuing to introduce highly differentiated solutions to help our customers advance their work. We are also effectively deploying our capital—the recently closed acquisitions of Genohm and Lasergen, Inc. will add new strategic capabilities to drive future growth and create value for our customers and our shareholders, ” said Mike McMullen, CEO.

Agilent second quarter 2018 earnings

As expected, strength in the company’s services and consumables business drove the 13% growth year-over-year for the CrossLab Group, continuing the trend it had witnessed in the previous quarter. This segment was the biggest contributor to the strong top line performance, posting the highest growth across all segments.

In the Diagnostics and Genomics Group, revenue outperformed expectations growing 9%, helped mainly by strength in genomics, while in the Life Sciences & Applied Markets Group (LSAG) segment, the results were aided by strong performance of the spectrometry and cell analysis businesses. LSAG revenue grew 7% year-over-year, but was up 4% on a core basis.

Last week, the Santa Clara, California-based company closed on the Lasergen acquisition which would help the company strengthen its Genomics division by providing an integrated clinical workflow solution and offering more labs with access to molecular diagnostics.

As for the outlook, Agilent guided revenue and earnings below consensus estimates and is seeing third quarter 2018 revenue to be in the range of $1.185 billion to $1.205 billion, while non-GAAP earnings is expected in the range of $0.61 to $0.63 per share.

For the fiscal year 2018, the company is seeing revenue to come in the range of $4.850 billion to $4.870 billion. However, Agilent did not change the core revenue growth guidance of 5.5%. On an adjusted basis, Agilent expects earnings to come in the range of $2.63 to $2.67 per share. The guidance is based on April 30, 2018 currency exchange rates.

Agilent stock plunged as much as 7% post the earnings release on weak guidance, despite an earnings beat.

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