Agilent’s products will help beat COVID-19

Article Excerpt

COVID-19 should spur demand for Agilent’s medical-testing equipment as companies develop new treatments and vaccines. In the short term, however, coronavirus shtutdowns have hurt the company’s ability to install new equipment. Still, sales for this industry leader should rebound over the next few months as its customers resume normal operations. AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC. $87 is a buy. The company (New York symbol A; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 308.8 million; Market cap: $26.9 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 5.1; Dividend yield: 0.8%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.agilent.com) makes specialized testing equipment for medical research laboratories and industrial clients. Its equipment includes mass spectrometers, used to analyze substances. Agilent often uses acquisitions to spur its growth. However, it cuts the risk of this strategy by focusing on firms with technology that will complement its own products. For example, in November 2018, the company acquired ACEA Biosciences for $250.0 million. ACEA makes equipment that research labs use to test cells for drugs, viruses and diseases. Agilent can use…

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