Keysight Technologies' 1Q income jumps 70%

Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS) reported first-quarter 2017 fiscal-year revenue of $726 million, up from $721 million in the same quarter of 2016.

GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) operating margin was 22 percent in the quarter, compared with 14 percent in 2016. Net income was $109 million, or 63 cents a share, up 70 percent from $64 million, or 37 cents a share, in the first quarter last year.

'We continued to see strong demand for our leading-edge technology solutions and believe we are well positioned within our markets,' said Ron Nersesian, Keysight president and CEO.

The Santa Rosa-based company had cash and cash equivalents of $896 million on Jan. 31.

Keysight on Jan. 30 reported it will acquire Ixia, a California technology company, in a deal valued at $1.6 billion. The cash transaction is expected to close by the end of October. Shareholders of Calabasas-based Ixia will receive $19.65 per share in cash, a premium of 45 percent over Ixia's closing share price on Dec. 1.

In 2016, Ixia had total revenue of nearly $500 million. Keysight's 2016 revenue was nearly $2.9 billion.

'The combination creates a powerful innovation engine to fuel growth, expands our software-centric solutions and builds new opportunities through sales and technology leverage,' Nersesian said.

Ixia has a broad Internet-protocol portfolio that includes network communications, network visibility, and application and security software. Ixia has extensive networking and wireless protocols that will boost Keysight's position especially in emerging 5G (fifth-generation) communications, expected for rollout in a couple of years.

Network visibility helps engineers monitor Internet traffic to spot malware invasions by establishing what normal traffic looks like then identifying anomalies. Security experts reckon with more network entry points as users become more mobile and access the Internet with multiple devices.

'Keysight is the ideal partner to accelerate our growth initiatives and will continue to build upon our successful 20-year history,' said Bethany Mayer, Ixia'a president and CEO.

Keysight broke down its quarterly revenue into three reporting segments. The communications group had first-quarter revenue of $434 million, down from $440 million last year. The electronic-industrial group had revenue of $192 million, up slightly from $191 million in 2016. The services group had quarterly revenue of $100 million, up 5 percent from last year's $95 million. That growth was driven in part by increased calibration services.

James Dunn covers technology, biotech, law, the food industry, and banking and finance. Reach him at or 707-521-4257.

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