Products from Agilent Technologies have a measurable effect on the scientific world. A leading maker of scientific testing equipment, Agilent supplies a slew of analytical and measurement instruments, including oscilloscopes, gas and liquid chromatographs, mass spectrometers, vacuum pumps, anatomic pathology workflows, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging systems. Its operations include products used in electronic test and measurement, life sciences, chemical analysis, and diagnostics and genomics. Agilent's customers include such global giants as Cisco, Dow Chemical, Merck, and Samsung. The company, which gets most of sales outside the US, spun off its electronic measurement business in late 2014.
Agilent operates through three business segments: life sciences and applied markets, diagnostics and genomics, and Agilent CrossLab.
The life sciences and applied markets business brings in 51% of Agilent's revenue by providing instruments and software that customers use to identify, quantify, and analyze the physical and biological properties of substances and products.
Agilent CrossLab account for a third of the company's revenue with its portfolio of consumables and services portfolio.
The 16% of revenue from diagnostics and genomics comes from pathology, reagents, instruments, software, and consumables products and services.
The US remains Agilent's largest single geographic location, accounting for 30% of sales. China is the only other country that Agilent breaks out, accounts for 16% of sales. The rest of its international operations provide the remainder of revenue.
Agilent has manufacturing plants in Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, the UK, and the US.
Sales and Marketing
The company sells most of its products directly, although it also relies on resellers, distributors, e-commerce, and other channels to a lesser degree. It also has a pretty diverse customer base -- some 23,000 customers for life sciences and applied markets business, about 39,000 Agilent CrossLab customers, and about 14,000 diagnostics and genomics customers.
The top and bottom lines look worse than they are. Agilent's financial figures for 2015 were absent contributions from its instrument business, which spun off as a separate company, Keysight Technologies, in 2014.
For 2015 Agilent reported $4 billion in revenue, a 42% drop from about $7 billion in 2014. Profit fell 20% to $401 million from $504 million. Cash flow from operations also dropped, going to $71 million in 2014 to $491 million in 2015.
Along with its frequent acquisitions, Agilent also remains nimble through divestitures. In late 2014 it spun off its electronic measurement business as Keysight Technologies -- in a move that reduced its exposure to the cyclical electronic measurement industry.
Agilent's R&D spending decreased in 2015 and accounted for 8% of its revenue, down from 10% in 2014. The company cited foreign currency differences for the change.
Mergers and Acquisitions
An $80 million investment bought Agilent a 48% stake in Lasergen Inc., an emerging biotechnology company with next-generation sequencing technology. Agilent has the option to acquire the remaining shares of Lasergen until March 2, 2018, for an additional consideration of $105 million. The companies will collaborate on building a next-generation sequencing workflow for clinical applications, based on Lasergen’s Lightning Terminators™ sequencing chemistry.
After a quiet acquisition year in 2014, Agilent ramped up its deal-making in 2015 with two acquisitions.
It bought Seahorse Bioscience, a provider of instruments and assay kits for measuring cell metabolism and bioenergetics, for $235 million. Seahorse products complement Agilent's separations and mass spectrometry offerings, particularly for metabolomics and disease research in pharmaceutics. Agilent also bought Cartagenia, a provider of software and services for clinical genetics and molecular pathology labs. The combination could remove bottlenecks in analysis, interpretation, and reporting clinical data, which would mean faster answers for patients.