Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) CEO Michael R. Mcmullen sold 15,923 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 directly owns 492,546 shares in the company, valued at $36,054,367.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink.

Shares of NYSE:A opened at $72.91 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.13, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 2.74 and a current ratio of 3.29. Agilent Technologies Inc has a 52-week low of $60.42 and a 52-week high of $75.11.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last announced its earnings results on Monday, November 19th. The medical research company reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $1.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.26 billion. Agilent Technologies had a return on equity of 19.84% and a net margin of 6.43%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.67 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Agilent Technologies Inc will post 3.04 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 23rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a $0.164 dividend. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.90%. This is a boost from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 28th. Agilent Technologies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.51%.

Agilent Technologies declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock 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 shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Agilent Technologies from $84.00 to $86.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. ValuEngine raised Agilent Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 target price (up from $77.00) on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research cut Agilent Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Finally, Cleveland Research cut Agilent Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, November 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $78.75.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Advisors Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.5% in the second quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC now owns 51,891 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $3,209,000 after buying an additional 759 shares during the period. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 75.9% in the second quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,791 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 773 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 0.8% in the third quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 104,765 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $7,390,000 after buying an additional 850 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 1.5% in the third quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 61,196 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $4,315,000 after buying an additional 887 shares during the period. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 5.9% in the second quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 17,255 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,067,000 after buying an additional 969 shares during the period.

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About Agilent Technologies

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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