Shares of Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) have been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the eleven ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and nine have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $79.43.

A has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank upped their price objective on Agilent Technologies from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. ValuEngine raised Agilent Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 price objective (up previously from $77.00) on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Agilent Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. Finally, Cleveland Research downgraded Agilent Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, November 12th.

NYSE:A traded down $1.66 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $70.25. 2,184,502 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,607,448. Agilent Technologies has a one year low of $60.42 and a one year high of $75.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 2.74 and a current ratio of 3.29. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.24 billion, a PE ratio of 25.18, a P/E/G ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.36.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 19th. The medical research company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.26 billion. Agilent Technologies had a return on equity of 19.84% and a net margin of 6.43%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Agilent Technologies will post 3.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a $0.164 dividend. This is an increase from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. Agilent Technologies’s payout ratio is currently 21.51%.

Agilent Technologies announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Monday, November 19th that permits the company to repurchase $1.75 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the medical research company to repurchase up to 8.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Agilent Technologies news, insider Dominique Grau sold 8,902 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total transaction of $658,748.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 103,387 shares in the company, valued at $7,650,638. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Michael R. Mcmullen sold 15,923 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.20, for a total value of $1,165,563.60. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 492,546 shares in the company, valued at $36,054,367.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 34,683 shares of company stock worth $2,499,491 over the last quarter.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 0.8% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,155,483 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,703,929,000 after buying an additional 194,607 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 12.5% during the third quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,590,725 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $605,989,000 after buying an additional 954,104 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 16.9% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,359,933 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $378,090,000 after buying an additional 774,771 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.2% during the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 3,222,517 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $227,316,000 after buying an additional 37,709 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 6.6% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,984,214 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $184,544,000 after buying an additional 183,728 shares during the last quarter.

Agilent Technologies Company Profile

Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions to the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets worldwide. It operates in 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; microfluidics based automated electrophoresis products; cell analysis plate based assays; laboratory software and informatics systems; laboratory automation; dissolution testing; vacuum pumps; and measurement technologies.

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Analyst Recommendations for Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A)

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