Agilent posts Q2 loss as revenue falls 25%

Fri, 05/15/2009 - 8:25am
The Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, California (AP) – Scientific equipment-maker Agilent Technologies Inc. on Thursday reported a second-quarter loss as revenue fell by 25 percent, led by a steep drop in its semiconductor and board test unit.

The company lost $101 million, or 29 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $173 million, or 47 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding restructuring and other one-time charges, Agilent earned $44 million, or 13 cents per share.

Revenue came to $1.09 billion in the quarter, down from $1.46 billion in 2008. Orders fell by 33 percent to $1.03 billion.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 13 cents per share on revenue of $1.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Analyst estimates usually exclude one-time items.

But Agilent said it expects fiscal 2009 revenue to fall by about 25 percent from 2008. That puts 2009 revenue at around $4.33 billion. Analysts were expecting $4.48 billion.

Bill Sullivan, Agilent's CEO, said that he sees some signs the global economic slump could be hitting a bottom.

"If these early signals of a bottoming in global electronics markets continue, we could anticipate a bottoming in our electronic measurement business in the next few months," he said.

In the quarter, revenue from Agilent's bioanalytical measurement unit fell 6 percent to $498 million. Income from operations rose to $89 million, from $85 million.

The electronic measurement unit saw revenue fall by 33 percent to $558 million and posted an operating loss of $6 million, compared with a profit of $120 million a year earlier.

Semiconductor and board test revenue fell by 63 percent to $35 million. Its operating loss was $16 million compared with a profit of $8 million.

Shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Agilent rose by 28 cents to $18.33 on Thursday. The stock was unchanged in the after-hours session.

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