William Blair Investment Management LLC Decreases Holdings in Agilent Technologies Inc (A)

William Blair Investment Management LLC lowered its position in Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) by 1.6% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 935,670 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 14,980 shares during the period. William Blair Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Agilent Technologies were worth $66,002,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in A. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 64.0% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 7,636,621 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $472,248,000 after purchasing an additional 2,980,216 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 30.3% in the 2nd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,585,162 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $283,546,000 after purchasing an additional 1,065,877 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP lifted its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 1,831.9% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 981,142 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $60,674,000 after purchasing an additional 930,356 shares in the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 26.9% in the 3rd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,350,857 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $165,829,000 after purchasing an additional 498,430 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in Agilent Technologies by 67.6% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,227,627 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $75,917,000 after purchasing an additional 495,160 shares in the last quarter.

In related news, VP Rodney Gonsalves sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.06, for a total transaction of $106,590.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Paul N. Clark sold 2,876 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.60, for a total value of $197,293.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 9,858 shares of company stock valued at $675,179 over the last three months.

A has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. ValuEngine raised Agilent Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Deutsche Bank raised their target price on Agilent Technologies from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised Agilent Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 target price (up from $77.00) on shares of Agilent Technologies in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Finally, Cleveland Research downgraded Agilent Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $78.75.

Shares of NYSE:A opened at $72.35 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 3.29 and a quick ratio of 2.74. The stock has a market cap of $22.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.35. Agilent Technologies Inc has a 12-month low of $60.42 and a 12-month high of $75.00.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 19th. The medical research company reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) 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 the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion. Agilent Technologies had a return on equity of 19.84% and a net margin of 6.43%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Agilent Technologies Inc will post 3.04 EPS for the current year.

Agilent Technologies declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Monday, November 19th that permits the company to buyback $1.75 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical research company to repurchase up to 8.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st will be given a dividend of $0.164 per share. This represents a $0.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. This is an increase 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%.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A)

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