Agilent Technologies Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:A)

Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 18,983 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,465% compared to the average daily volume of 1,213 put options.

Shares of Agilent Technologies (NYSE A) opened at $71.73 on Friday. Agilent Technologies has a 12 month low of $47.05 and a 12 month high of $72.33. The firm has a market capitalization of $22,869.67, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 2.85 and a current ratio of 3.30.

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 20th. The medical research company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $1.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.17 billion. Agilent Technologies had a return on equity of 16.95% and a net margin of 15.30%. Agilent Technologies’s revenue was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.59 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Agilent Technologies will post 2.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 24th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 2nd will be issued a $0.149 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.83%. This is an increase from Agilent Technologies’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 29th. Agilent Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.57%.

In related news, CEO Michael R. Mcmullen sold 22,481 shares of Agilent Technologies stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $1,573,670.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 327,882 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,951,740. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Patrick Kaltenbach sold 7,358 shares of Agilent Technologies stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.28, for a total value of $509,762.24. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 72,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,047,879.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 176,291 shares of company stock valued at $12,245,920.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of A. Delta Lloyd Asset Management N.V. acquired a new stake in shares of Agilent Technologies in the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,026,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 9.9% in the 3rd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 998,225 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $64,086,000 after buying an additional 90,317 shares during the period. Timber Hill LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Agilent Technologies in the 3rd quarter valued at about $1,672,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 72.9% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 894,206 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $53,035,000 after buying an additional 376,928 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Agilent Technologies by 720.6% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,131,276 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $67,097,000 after buying an additional 993,414 shares during the period.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on A. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Monday, January 8th. Evercore ISI began coverage on Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $75.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine lowered Agilent Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Friday, November 24th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Agilent Technologies in a report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $68.98.

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About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business.

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