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Agilent Beats Forecasts on Strong Bio-Analytical Device Sales

Agilent Technologies reported second-quarter earnings a penny above Street estimates and issued rosy guidance, citing strong sales of bio-analytical measurement devices.

"As in the first quarter, we saw notable strength across our Bio-Analytical Measurement portfolio, and significant weakness in wireless handset test," said CEO Bill Sullivan, in a prepared statement.

"The pickup in second-quarter electronic measurement bookings to 8% growth, combined with the steady 14% growth in bio-analytical orders, bodes well for Agilent's prospects in the second half of this year," Sullivan added.

The company, which makes electronic test equipment, posted adjusted earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $1.32 billion. Revenue rose 7% from the year-ago quarter, led by a 15% rise in sales of bio-analytical products such as mass spectrometers or microarrays used in chemical analysis.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected Agilent to report earnings of 42 cents a share on sales of $1.32 billion.

Shares of the company rose as much as 4% in after-hours trading Monday before paring gains.

Looking ahead, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company issued quarterly guidance above analysts' expectations, forecasting third-quarter earnings in a range of 46 cents to 50 cents a share, on sales of $1.36 billion to $1.40 billion.

The current analysts' consensus calls for earnings of 46 cents a share on sales of $1.35 billion.

Agilent was spun off from Hewlett-Packard in 1999.