Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A – Get Rating) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totaling 3,270,000 shares, a growth of 5.5% from the December 15th total of 3,100,000 shares. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 1,340,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.4 days.
Agilent Technologies Trading Down 2.1 %
NYSE:A opened at $155.69 on Wednesday. Agilent Technologies has a 12-month low of $112.52 and a 12-month high of $160.26. The company has a current ratio of 2.03, a quick ratio of 1.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $152.37 and its 200-day simple moving average is $138.42. The firm has a market cap of $46.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.34, a PEG ratio of 2.76 and a beta of 1.07.
Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 21st. The medical research company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.39 by $0.14. Agilent Technologies had a net margin of 18.31% and a return on equity of 30.28%. The company had revenue of $1.85 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.76 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.21 EPS. Agilent Technologies’ quarterly revenue was up 11.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Agilent Technologies will post 5.64 EPS for the current year.
Agilent Technologies declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, January 9th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical research company to buy up to 4.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Agilent Technologies Increases Dividends
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 3rd will be paid a $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 30th. This is an increase from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.58%. Agilent Technologies’s payout ratio is 21.58%.
In other Agilent Technologies news, VP Padraig Mcdonnell sold 2,746 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.21, for a total transaction of $420,714.66. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 16,201 shares in the company, valued at $2,482,155.21. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed via the SEC website. In related news, SVP Michael Tang sold 3,600 shares of Agilent Technologies stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $139.50, for a total value of $502,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 43,280 shares in the company, valued at $6,037,560. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Padraig Mcdonnell sold 2,746 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.21, for a total transaction of $420,714.66. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 16,201 shares in the company, valued at $2,482,155.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 209,039 shares of company stock valued at $32,268,881.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On Agilent Technologies
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Synovus Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 6,751 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $895,000 after acquiring an additional 153 shares during the period. Blair William & Co. IL raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 7.3% during the 1st quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 28,606 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $3,785,000 after buying an additional 1,957 shares during the last quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 52.1% in the 1st quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,334 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $309,000 after buying an additional 799 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Agilent Technologies by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,531,170 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $3,246,209,000 after acquiring an additional 261,435 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zions Bancorporation NA increased its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 10.8% during the 1st quarter. Zions Bancorporation NA now owns 2,880 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $381,000 after acquiring an additional 281 shares in the last quarter.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A has been the topic of several recent research reports. StockNews.com started coverage on Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “strong-buy” rating on the stock. UBS Group raised their target price on shares of Agilent Technologies from $152.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 20th. Evercore ISI boosted their price target on shares of Agilent Technologies from $140.00 to $155.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. SVB Leerink raised their price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, January 6th. Finally, Cowen boosted their target price on shares of Agilent Technologies from $160.00 to $168.00 in a research note on Tuesday, November 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Agilent Technologies currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $161.36.
Agilent Technologies Company Profile
Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions to the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets worldwide. The Life Sciences and Applied Markets segment offers liquid chromatography systems and components; liquid chromatography mass spectrometry systems; gas chromatography systems and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry instruments; atomic absorption instruments; microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry instruments; raman spectroscopy; cell analysis plate based assays; flow cytometers; real-time cell analyzers; cell imaging systems; microplate readers; laboratory software; information management and analytics; laboratory automation and robotic systems; dissolution testing; vacuum pumps, and measurement technologies.
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