Short Interest in Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) Declines By 9.2%

Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) saw a significant decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,660,000 shares, a decline of 9.2% from the December 15th total of 5,130,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,570,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.0 days. Currently, 1.5% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In related news, CEO Michael R. Mcmullen sold 24,636 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.90, for a total value of $2,042,324.40. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 332,121 shares in the company, valued at $27,532,830.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Dominique Grau sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.85, for a total transaction of $1,242,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 97,498 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,077,709.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 75,652 shares of company stock worth $6,219,246 in the last 90 days.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Agilent Technologies by 0.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 25,137,175 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,876,994,000 after acquiring an additional 178,265 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Agilent Technologies by 0.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,950,780 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,863,074,000 after acquiring an additional 177,251 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. lifted its stake in Agilent Technologies by 478.4% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 9,230,526 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $689,243,000 after acquiring an additional 7,634,621 shares during the period. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. lifted its stake in Agilent Technologies by 40.8% in the second quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 4,910,795 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $366,689,000 after acquiring an additional 1,423,567 shares during the period. Finally, Cantillon Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Agilent Technologies by 6.9% in the third quarter. Cantillon Capital Management LLC now owns 4,216,472 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $323,108,000 after acquiring an additional 271,249 shares during the period.

Shares of A traded down $0.17 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $87.29. 8,001 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,243,103. The firm has a market cap of $27.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.05, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 1.42. Agilent Technologies has a 12-month low of $65.35 and a 12-month high of $88.32. The company has a current ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $83.94 and its 200 day moving average price is $76.21.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last issued its earnings results on Monday, November 25th. The medical research company reported $0.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $1.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.33 billion. Agilent Technologies had a net margin of 20.74% and a return on equity of 20.13%. The business’s revenue was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Agilent Technologies will post 3.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 22nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be paid a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 30th. This is a positive change from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.82%. Agilent Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is 23.15%.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on A shares. Needham & Company LLC started coverage on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research report on Friday, January 3rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $77.00 price objective on the stock. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies from $82.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 26th. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research report on Thursday, November 14th. They set a “hold” rating and a $85.00 price objective on the stock. Barclays cut their price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies from $78.00 to $76.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Agilent Technologies from $85.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 26th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $84.57.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions to the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets worldwide. It operates through three segments: Life Sciences and Applied Markets, Diagnostics and Genomics, and Agilent CrossLab. 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; laboratory software and information management and analytics; laboratory automation and robotic systems; dissolution testing; vacuum pumps; and measurement technologies.

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