Agilent removed from Analyst Focus List at JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Tycho Peterson removed Agilent Technologies from his firm's Analyst Focus List following the company's fiscal Q2 results but keeps an Overweight rating on the shares with an $85 price target. Agilent reported a "surprising miss," with core growth of 4% below guidance of 5%-6% despite the easy 4.3% comp and generally solid Q1 peer results, Peterson tells investors in a research note. He attributes the miss to worse than expected headwinds from China generic pharma and food, as well as global large pharma order delays on the small-molecule side. While the miss and guidance cut were "clearly disappointing," the weakness appears driven by end market headwinds rather than competitive dynamics, and Agilent's margin expansion remains strong despite sales headwinds, says Peterson. He continues to like the stock's risk/reward at current valuation levels.