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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 16, 2010, 5:16 pm

Agilent’s Santa Rosa-based group reports ‘solid growth’ in third quarter

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    ‘We haven’t seen margins like that since the telecom boom’

    SANTA ROSA — Third-quarter revenue for the locally based Electronic Measurement group of Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was 24 percent higher than a year ago, while the company today reported overall quarterly revenue was 31 percent higher in that period.

    The group reported solid growth across all its markets — communications, aerospace and defense, industrial and semiconductors. Orders for the group increased 39 percent from a year before to $750 million, and operating margins rose 18 percent.

    “We haven’t seen margins like that since the telecom boom,” said Ron Nersesian, president of the Electronic Measurement Group. “Manufacturing showed growth globally, and we saw even more growth in research and development, especially in China.”

    “All our markets showed double-digit growth,” he said.

    The Electronic Measurement Group has added 400 jobs worldwide and is doing selective hiring in Santa Rosa to expand capacity and replace jobs lost through attrition, according to Mr. Nersesian.

    Agilent employs about 1,150 in Santa Rosa.

    Electronic Measurement Group revenue was $692 million in the third quarter. Income from operations was $127 million, compared with an $11 million loss a year before.

    Company orders increased 39 percent over the year to $1.49 billion, with revenue for the quarter of $1.38 billion. Net income was $205 million, compared with a net loss of $19 million a year before.

    The group’s revenue would have grown 34 percent year-over-year, except for the sale earlier this year of the company’s network solutions business to JDS Uniphase.

    Second-quarter revenue for the group was 18 percent higher year-over-year.

    Agilent’s stock price was $27.16 a share at the end of trading today, a decrease of 19 cents a share or less than 1 percent from the Friday closing price. The price had rebounded 89 cents a share, or 3.3 percent, in after-hours trading just before 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

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