North Bay Business Journal

Monday, November 19, 2012, 5:12 pm

Local Agilent group cites global instability in fourth-quarter dip in sales, orders

By Loralee Stevens, Special to the Business Journal

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    SANTA ROSA — Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) fourth-quarter revenues edged up 2 percent over the same period last year while the level of orders remained unchanged, but for the Santa Rosa-based Electronic Measurement Group at fiscal year-end sales declined by nearly 5 percent and orders by just more than 8 percent.

    Agilent TechnologiesElectronic Measurement’s fourth-quarter orders and sales decreased due to uncertainty in leadership and the subsequent putting off of investment decisions, according to group President Guy Séné.

    “We were expecting a slowdown in Q4 after three strong quarters for 2012, because that usually happens prior to the new year,” he said. “Additionally, instability in Europe, the election in the U.S. and a change in leadership in China affected both aerospace and communications. We expect a difficult climate going forward, with manufacturing in Asia hard to predict, and the rest of the world focused on stabilization.”

    Electronic Measurement revenues were $816 million for the quarter, ended Oct. 31, compared with $822 million for the same period in fiscal 2011. Revenues declined across all key markets with the exception of computer and semiconductor markets, according to the company. Orders experienced a steeper drop — 8.15 percent — to $725 million from $822 million.

    The team at the Electronic Measurement group performed very well, Mr. Séné added.

    “They have developed and launched several new products and will continue to innovate as we move into the next year,” he said.

    Agilent employs 1,150 at its campus in the Fountaingrove area of northeast Santa Rosa.

    Company revenues were $1.77 billion in its fourth quarter, up 2.26 percent from $1.73 billion a year before. Orders were virtually unchanged at $1.75 billion.

    For the fiscal year, sales were $6.86 billion, up 3.7 percent from $6.615 billion in fiscal 2011. Orders increased 1.6 percent to $6.88 billion in the just-ended fiscal year.

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