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Thursday, August 14, 2014, 3:48 pm

Keysight third-quarter revenue rises 8%; Russia market to drop

Agilent quarterly revenue up 7% to $1.77B

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    SANTA ROSA — As part of fiscal third-quarter results reported Thursday, Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) said its Santa Rosa-based Keysight Technologies test-and-measurement business spinoff had revenue growth of 8 percent from a year before.

    Ron Nersesian Keysight Technologies

    Ron Nersesian, CEO, Keysight Technologies

    Orders for the quarter ending in July rose 7 percent, and operating margins were 20 percent, according to Ron Nersesian, CEO and president of Keysight.

    The new company could be hit by restrictions on trade with Russia imposed by the United States after Russia’s aggressive conduct toward Ukraine. Russia has been a customer particularly for instruments related to aerospace defense, satellites and microwave technology. “Russia up to now is about 3 percent” of Keysight’s business, said Guy Séné, senior vice president of measurement solutions and worldwide sales, based in Santa Rosa.

    “With the current situation in Ukraine,” Mr. Séné said, “we see our business growth to really slow down there. We keep selling, but with the sanctions most western countries are applying to Russia,” there are new restrictions on sales of certain instruments.

    “If we would stop completely selling to Russia, it would be difficult to make up” the lost business, Mr. Séné said.

    As the U.S. federal budget has started flowing after temporary sequestration related to budget wrangles in Washington, domestic aerospace defense spending has resumed. “The place we see growth is aerospace defense in the U.S.,” Mr. Séné said. The company’s business usually is strongest in its fourth quarter, which just started at the beginning of August.

    Guy Sene, Keysight senior vice president, measurement solutions and worldwide sales

    Guy Sene, Keysight senior vice president, measurement solutions and worldwide sales

    While growth in China has eased for all of Agilent’s operations, Keysight saw revenue growth of 20 percent in China during the quarter, with orders up only 5 percent, according to Mr. Nersesian.

    Agilent reported quarterly earnings of 78 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter was $1.77 billion, up 7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Third-quarter net income was $147 million. Orders rose 9 percent for the quarter to $1.74 billion. For all of 2013, Agilent had revenue of $6.8 billion.

    During the trading day Thursday, Agilent shares rose $0.84 to $55.62, a 1.5 percent gain.

    “Agilent generated strong revenue and earnings this quarter, exceeding the high-end of our forecasted guidance,” said Agilent President and CEO Bill Sullivan in an earnings call after the market closed. “We’re seeing continued improvement in our markets and good order growth across our businesses.”

    Agilent, based in Santa Clara, makes electronic and bio-analytical measurement devices. Effective Aug. 1, Agilent spun off its electronic measurement equipment operations as a new subsidiary called Keysight Technologies, based in Santa Rosa. Keysight has about 9,500 employees worldwide, and about 1,200 in Santa Rosa. The corporate separation is expected to be complete by early November, and Keysight will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “KEYS.”

    Agilent retained its life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical business. The company makes devices used in forensics, environmental analysis, and pharma and clinical diagnostics.

    Last year in the same quarter, Agilent reported earnings of 68 cents per share.

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