SANTA ROSA - Agilent Technologies Inc. reported third quarter revenues 27 percent below last year's revenues for the same quarter, but company executives expressed hope that its markets have bottomed out.

Revenues for the fiscal quarter ending July 31 were $1.06 billion, with a GAAP net loss of $19 million, reflecting weak markets globally. In the Electronic Test and Measurement Group, which is headquartered in Santa Rosa, revenues were down 36 percent to $524 million, compared with $814 million for the same quarter in 2008. But orders for the segment topped revenues in the second quarter, leading Agilent leaders to believe things will pick up in the fourth quarter.

"We're cash-flow positive and our restructuring efforts are showing up on the bottom line, said Agilent President and CEO Bill Sullivan. "Our operations costs are down 16 percent from last year."

Although the company expects market conditions to remain difficult through the fiscal year end, order activity points to a modest recovery beginning in 2010.

"The bump up in orders from the first quarter was very unique," said Santa Rosa-based Ron Nersesian, senior vice president and general manager of the Electronic Test & Measurement Group based in Santa Rosa. "Usually our third quarter revenues drop from the second quarter. But Agilent beat expectations by $20 million in orders."

Agilent cut 300 jobs earlier in the year and local staff of 1,000 has taken a 10 percent pay reduction since Jan. 1. Because of encouraging signs, Agilent will restore full salaries at the beginning of its next fiscal year beginning in November, said Mr. Nersesian.