SANTA ROSA -- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) reported quarterly revenue from its Santa Rosa-based test and measurement group slumped 29 percent from a year  ago although it was an improvement from the previous period and a sign of an stabilizing global market, company officials said.

As a result, the company said it will lift an across-the-board pay cut as of Nov. 1.

Overall, earnings excluding restructuring charges for the Palo Alto-based Agilent in the fourth quarter decreased 21 percent from the same period last year, a sequential gain over the third quarter, when they were down 27 percent.

The drop in fourth-quarter revenue for the Electronic Measurements Group, headquartered in Santa Rosa, was attributed to continued weakness in the cell phone market. Excluding that segment, orders were down 18 percent from the same period last year and were up 18 percent from the third quarter.

According to Ron Nersesian, group president, his team managed to successfully navigate the worst markets in seven years for the company.

“Our group lost no money for the year. And the sequential rise in the fourth quarter orders was great to see. We expect orders to flatten out in the first quarter of the coming fiscal year.”

General-purpose electronics as well as aerospace and defense were the strongest market segments of the Santa Rosa group, he said.

“Agilent made a commitment to be break-even by the fourth quarter. In that respect, we surpassed Wall Street’s and our own expectations,” he said.

Agilent overall reported revenues of $1.17 billion for the fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31. GAAP net income was $25 million, or $0.07 per diluted share. Last year’s fourth quarter GAAP net income was $231 million, or $0.64 per diluted share.

“While it seems clear that we are past the worst of the global downturn, the pace of recovery is expected to be slow and to vary considerably by market and geography," said Agilent President and CEO Bill Sullivan. “Our restructuring efforts … are on track and, in recognition of the progress we are making, we have restored full pay around the world effective Nov. 1.”

Agilent employs 1,000 in Santa Rosa.