Agilent Technologies (A) stock gained over 5% after reporting better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter. Net income rose 21% to 81 cents per share, higher than the average analysts’ estimate of 73 cents per share.
On a GAAP basis, net income rose to $195 million, or $0.61 per share, compared to $177 million, or $0.54 per share during the same period last year.
Revenue of the company, which makes analytical instruments, rose 9% to $1.29 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.26 billion during the quarter.
Agilent CEO Mike McMullen said, “Our performance this quarter caps off an excellent 2018 as we achieved our highest annual core growth rate and profitability since becoming a stand-alone life sciences company in 2014.”
Agilent’s biggest unit – Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group – reported Q4 revenue of $597 million, a growth of 8% year-over-year. Growth in the segment was driven by broad-based strength across major end markets, platforms, and regions. The company’s other segments – CrossLab Group and Diagnostics and Genomics Group – each delivered 9% growth during the fourth quarter.
Looking ahead into the first quarter of 2019, the company expects revenue in the range of $5.13 billion to $5.17 billion, representing growth of 4.4% to 5.2%. Adjusted earnings is guided between $3.00 and $3.05 per share.
For the full year, Agilent projects earnings of $0.71 to $0.73 per share on a revenue of $1.265 billion to $1.280 billion
Agilent stock has had a tough run this year, with share price tumbling 7.5% since the beginning of the year.