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Can Agilent Technologies (A) Pull a Surprise in Q1 Earnings?

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Agilent Technologies A is set to report first-quarter fiscal 2017 results on Feb 14. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 13.46%.

Over the past one year, shares of Agilent Technologies underperformed the Zacks categorized Electronic Testing Equipment industry. While the industry gained 47.66%, the stock returned 40.78%.

Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Consider

Agilent reported strong fiscal fourth-quarter results with both revenues and earnings exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues of $1.11 billion were also above the guided range of $1.05 billion to $1.07 billion. Revenue growth was supported by continued strength in the pharma business, better-than-expected growth in Europe and continued strength in China.

The company's decision to divest or wind up underperforming businesses has helped it to focus on the new Agilent for a solid recurring revenue base and on diversification of geographic and industrial operations for growth. Also, the company's focus on aligning investments for more attractive growth avenues and innovative product launches is a positive.

In addition, we believe that Agilent's broader portfolio and increased focus on segments with higher growth potential could drive revenue and margins in the upcoming quarter.

For the fiscal first quarter, Agilent expects revenues within $1.04 billion to $1.06 billion, and non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of 48 cents to 50 cents.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Agilent Technologieswill beat estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Most Accurate estimate stands at 47 cents, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 49 cents. Hence, the difference is -4.08%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .

Zacks Rank: Agilent Technologies has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Strong Sell) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Agilent Technologies, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Agilent Technologies, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Agilent Technologies, Inc. Quote

Stocks to Consider

You could consider the following stocks with a positive Earnings ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank to post an earnings beat in their upcoming releases.

Applied Optoelectronics AAOI with an Earnings ESP of +15.87% and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Century Communities, Inc. CCS with an Earnings ESP of +14.93% and a Zacks Rank #2.

ACI Worldwide ACIW with an Earnings ESP of +1.89% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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