SANTA ROSA -- The locally based Electronic Measurement group of Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today reported third-quarter revenues decreased 1 percent from a year before and orders fell 4 percent, attributed to continued sluggishness in the aerospace and defense sectors and weakness in industrial markets.

Group President Guy Sene said growth in communications, driven by wireless manufacturing, was stong but offset by weaker aerospace and defense and industrial demand in the U.S.

"Our wireless manufacturing unit grew by 7 percent, but defense contracts are pending decisions to be made in Washington, so that segment was weaker. However we're in good shape to weather a continued slowdown in the macroeconomic picture," said Mr. Sene.

Revenues for the Santa Rosa-based group in the third quarter, ended July 31, were $845 million, compared with $876 million a year before. Orders declined 4 percent to $811 million from $957 million for the same period last year.

Gross margins for the group, although down slightly, were considered to be still stong at 57 percent.

Companywide, quarterly net income was $243 million, down 26 percent from a year before, on revenue of $1.72 billion, down 2 percent.

"Agilent's performance in the fiscal third quarter did not meet our revenue and EPS guidance," said Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and chief executive officer. "We have clearly entered an environment of much slower growth, resulting in deals taking longer to close and customers delaying their order deliveries. Despite the global environment, however, we delivered a strong operating margin performance that underscores Agilent's ability to proactively respond to rapidly changing market conditions."

The price of Agilent stock was barely changed in Wednesday trading, down 1 cent per share to $40.48.

Agilent employs 1,150 in its Santa Rosa facility.