Agilent Slips on Acquisition Plan

Agilent Technologies was down 6 U.S. cents at $34.69 in morning trading Monday after the company said it wouldbuy some assets and intellectual property from Wavefront Research, aprivately held optical component company.

Agilent, a Palo Alto, California-based maker of testing equipment, said thepurchase is part of its “ongoing investment in the high-growth, fiber-opticcommunications area.”

Said Agilent vice president John O’Rourke: “This acquisition continues Agilent’s focus on fiber-optic technology usedin communications networks.”

Wavefront has five engineers that work on developing optical systems andtechnologies, Agilent said.

Agilent, which was spun off from high-tech giant Hewlett-Packard in 1999, has also recently acquired MVT, an Ireland-based testing equipment manufacturer.

For the first quarter ended January 31st, Agilent, which provides testing services for the communications,electronics and life sciences industry, reported revenue of $2.8 billion. Earnings before goodwill and otheritems totaled $237 million, or 51 cents per share.

The company said that orders grew at a slower pace during the quarter because ofa weaker economy and lower demand for wireless and semiconductor testproducts, as well as wireless and imaging components.

Optical testing andoptical components were among the quarter’s stronger performers, Agilent said.

The company said it expects full-year revenue growth of 10 to 15 percent,with results held back by a “high level of uncertainty” in its markets andin the global economy. However, Agilent says it has taken steps to cut costs andposition itself for growth in the future.

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