Agilent Profit Soars on Sales Gains

Agilent Profit Soars on Sales Gains; Sensient Q4 Profit Down; Holly Corp. Profit Increases; Alpha Natural Reports Soaring Profit

Agilent Profit Soars on Sales Gains

Agilent Technologies Inc. (A), a leading maker of scientific testing equipment, on Monday said quarterly profit surged on huge gains from the sale of its semiconductor products business and other divestitures.

Net income for the first quarter ended on January 31 climbed to $2.82 billion, or $5.83 per share, from $103 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.

During the first quarter, Agilent sold its semiconductor products business to two private equity firms for $2.7 billion and its 47 percent share of lighting firm Lumileds to Philips Electronics for about $1 billion.

Excluding a pretax gain of $2.7 billion, related to the sale, and other items, earnings were $154 million, or 32 cents per share. Analysts on average had forecast 30 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

The Palo Alto, California-based company said revenue rose 10 percent to $1.34 billion from $1.21 billion, meeting the analysts' average forecast compiled by Reuters Estimates.

Net income also included $63 million in charges for the planned spinoff of Agilent's semiconductor test solutions unit and the reduction of infrastructure costs.

The moves came as Agilent, which makes products that test the efficiency of electronics in everything from mobile phones to medical equipment, attempts to focus strictly on measurement products.

Looking ahead, Agilent said it expects second quarter revenue in the range of $1.37 billion to $1.43 billion, up 6 to 12 percent from last year, and in line with analysts forecast of $1.39 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Adjusted second quarter profit is expected to be in the range of 35 cents a share to 40 cents a share, and the company said it is comfortable with the range of analyst estimates for full year adjusted profit.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 36 cents for the second quarter and $1.51 for the year, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of Agilent closed on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange at $35.87, not far from its 52-week high of $36.10.

Sensient Q4 Profit Down

Sensient Technologies (SXT), a maker of flavors and fragrances, on Monday posted a lower fourth-quarter profit on restructuring charges and other items.

Net income totaled $1.4 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with $19.1 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier.

Before items, the Milwaukee-based company earned 24 cents a share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 30 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Holly Corp. Profit Increases

Oil refiner Holly Corp. (HOC) on Monday reported a surge in profit for the fourth quarter on higher product margins.

The company reported a net profit of $39.9 million, or $1.31 per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $7.4 million, or 23 cents per share.

Alpha Natural Reports Soaring Profit

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) on Monday reported a larger profit for the fourth quarter as both coal production and realized prices per ton rose sharply.

The company reported a profit of $12.4 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit as adjusted for the company's initial public offering, of $2 million, or 4 cents per share.