Short Interest in Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A) Grows By 5.5%

Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:AGet Rating) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,270,000 shares, a growth of 5.5% from the December 15th total of 3,100,000 shares. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 1,340,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.4 days.

Agilent Technologies Trading Down 2.1 %

NYSE:A opened at $155.69 on Wednesday. Agilent Technologies has a 12-month low of $112.52 and a 12-month high of $160.26. The company has a current ratio of 2.03, a quick ratio of 1.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $152.37 and its 200-day simple moving average is $138.42. The firm has a market cap of $46.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.34, a PEG ratio of 2.76 and a beta of 1.07.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:AGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 21st. The medical research company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.39 by $0.14. Agilent Technologies had a net margin of 18.31% and a return on equity of 30.28%. The company had revenue of $1.85 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.76 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.21 EPS. Agilent Technologies’s quarterly revenue was up 11.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Agilent Technologies will post 5.64 EPS for the current year.

Agilent Technologies declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, January 9th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical research company to buy up to 4.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Agilent Technologies Increases Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 3rd will be paid a $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 30th. This is an increase from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.58%. Agilent Technologies’s payout ratio is 21.58%.

Insider Activity

In other Agilent Technologies news, VP Padraig Mcdonnell sold 2,746 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.21, for a total transaction of $420,714.66. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 16,201 shares in the company, valued at $2,482,155.21. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In related news, SVP Michael Tang sold 3,600 shares of Agilent Technologies stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $139.50, for a total value of $502,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 43,280 shares in the company, valued at $6,037,560. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Padraig Mcdonnell sold 2,746 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.21, for a total transaction of $420,714.66. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 16,201 shares in the company, valued at $2,482,155.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 209,039 shares of company stock valued at $32,268,881.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Agilent Technologies

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Synovus Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 6,751 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $895,000 after acquiring an additional 153 shares during the period. Blair William & Co. IL raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 7.3% during the 1st quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 28,606 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $3,785,000 after buying an additional 1,957 shares during the last quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Agilent Technologies by 52.1% in the 1st quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,334 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $309,000 after buying an additional 799 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Agilent Technologies by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,531,170 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $3,246,209,000 after acquiring an additional 261,435 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zions Bancorporation N.A. increased its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 10.8% during the 1st quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. now owns 2,880 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $381,000 after acquiring an additional 281 shares in the last quarter.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A has been the topic of several recent research reports. StockNews.com started coverage on Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “strong-buy” rating on the stock. UBS Group raised their target price on shares of Agilent Technologies from $152.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 20th. Evercore ISI boosted their price target on shares of Agilent Technologies from $140.00 to $155.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. SVB Leerink raised their price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies from $160.00 to $170.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, January 6th. Finally, Cowen boosted their target price on shares of Agilent Technologies from $160.00 to $168.00 in a research note on Tuesday, November 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Agilent Technologies currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $161.36.

Agilent Technologies Company Profile

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Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions to the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets worldwide. The Life Sciences and Applied Markets segment offers liquid chromatography systems and components; liquid chromatography mass spectrometry systems; gas chromatography systems and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry instruments; atomic absorption instruments; microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry instruments; raman spectroscopy; cell analysis plate based assays; flow cytometer; real-time cell analyzer; cell imaging systems; microplate reader; laboratory software; information management and analytics; laboratory automation and robotic systems; dissolution testing; vacuum pumps, and measurement technologies.

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