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Judge rejects Justice Dept.'s bid to stop sugar merger
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Agilent Technologies Proves Its Worth VS Illumina 

Agilent Technologies Proves Its Worth VS Illumina 

Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) is a highly-valued stock for the low 0.6% dividend that it pays but the Q2 results once again prove the company’s worth. The results include a top and bottom line beat as well as improved guidance that has the shares moving higher in their wake. With competitors in the medical instruments/technology industry like Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) trading at even higher valuations and not paying a dividend, it looks like Agilent Technologies and its blue-chip status is the better choice for investors and the analyst agree. 

The analysts have a Hold rating on Illumina compared to the Moderate Buy Agilent Technologies is pegged to and the sentiment for Agilent is on the upswing. Illumina notched a handful of analysts' commentaries in the wake of its earnings report that all included price target reductions that have the consensus about 20% above the current price action. That is a larger margin of an upside than what is expected for Agilent, about 15%, but the trend in sentiment is far more favorable. 

Agilent’s report sparked a minimum of 4 analyst commentaries that all include a price target increase. According to Marketbeat.com analyst tracking tools, the price target increases have the consensus firming after a slight retreat from the high set earlier this year. The takeaway is that sentiment for Illumina is cooling while the opposite is happening for Agilent. As far as the valuation is concerned, Agilent is trading at about 27X its earnings while Illumina trades at a far higher 80X of its earnings. In this light, with one producing outperformance and increasing the guidance and the other underperforming and lowering guidance, the stage is set for one’s value to improve and the others to crumble and Agilent is already outperforming the other. 


Agilent Technologies Pops After Nimble Q3 Execution

Agilent Technologies had a great quarter with revenue of $1.72 billion rising 8.2% over last year to beat the consensus figures by 480 basis points. The strength was driven by gains in all segments led by a 14% increase in Life Sciences offset by smaller 5% and 2% gains in CrossLab and Diagnostics. The good news, however, is in the margin and guidance which are both favorable to cash flow and the dividend. The company reports a 28% increase in GAAP earnings and a 22% increase in adjusted earnings that outpaced revenue growth by a wide margin. The $1.34 in adjusted EPS also beat the consensus estimate by $0.13 and the strength is expected to carry through into the 4th quarter at least. 

The company raised the outlook for the 4th quarter and the year to expect FY EPS in the range of $5.06 to $5.08 but there is a caveat and an offsetting factor to consider. The caveat is that EPS and revenue guidance were raised to match the consensus figure, the offsetting factor is that consensus has been on the rise over the past few months and accelerated the movement a week prior to the release. 

Agilent Outperforms Illumina 

The price action in Agilent Technologies tracked in line with Illumina for the first few quarters of the pandemic but the action diverged in late 2021. Since then, Illumina and its niche markets have proven to be more volatile than Agilent and its broader-based clientele with Agilent up 100% versus the other. Based on the latest report investors would be wise to assume Agilent will continue to be less volatile as well as pay its dividend. 

Agilent Technologies Proves Its Worth VS Illumina 

Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
Agilent Technologies (A)
2.7438 of 5 stars
$123.48-0.7%0.68%28.13Moderate Buy$151.31
Illumina (ILMN)
2.7132 of 5 stars
$190.38-1.6%N/A-3,172.47Hold$257.27
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Should you invest $1,000 in Agilent Technologies right now?

Before you consider Agilent Technologies, you'll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Agilent Technologies wasn't on the list.

While Agilent Technologies currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

View The Five Stocks Here

Thomas Hughes

About Thomas Hughes

Contributing Author: Technical and Fundamental Analysis

Thomas got his start with the markets while working as a Chef. In 2005 a chance invitation to attend the seminar “How To Buy And Sell Your Own Stocks” altered his worldview. Soon trading and stocks consumed his every waking moment to the point of excluding all else. Thomas now enjoys a much different lifestyle engaged in his true passion, uncovering great investments.
Contact Thomas Hughes via email at tmhughes.writeon@gmail.com.
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