(A) Agilent Technologies Launches Bluetooth Test

Agilent Technologies Inc. (A) announced the availability of its Bluetooth low-energy test solution on the N4010A wireless connectivity test set. The company stated that Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) was the first to verify the product, which can be used by connectivity chipset makers to speed up design validation for Bluetooth smart and smart-ready devices.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology specification developed by the Bluetooth special interest group (SIG), the founding members of which were Ericsson, Intel Corp (INTC), Toshiba, Nokia (NOK) and IBM (IBM). The SIG, which now comprises several hundred members, has developed a couple of technologies.

The smart technology usually comes with sensors, such as heart-rate monitors, glucose meters and other health and fitness products that basically pick up specific information (for example heart rates in case of the heart-rate monitor) and transmit the information to smart-ready devices.

Smart-ready devices, such as phones, computers and tablets have dual functionality. Not only are they able to pick up information, but they are also able to connect to other smart-ready devices and transfer data and files.

According to IMS research, the use of Bluetooth technology in consumer health monitoring applications will increase from less than 40 million chips in 2009 to over 200 million in 2015. In addition, shipments of Bluetooth smart ready handsets will exceed 370.0 million units by the end of 2012, and 1.6 billion units by the end of 2015.

Another firm, Strategy Analytics, shows that 70.0% of all new vehicles will have Bluetooth connectivity by 2016. Therefore, companies will be vying with each other to launch products incorporating the latest Bluetooth technology. This is where Agilent should see success.

Agilent’s revenue in the second quarter of 2012 was up 6.0% sequentially and 3.3% year over year, better than management’s expectations of a 4-5% sequential increase ($1.70 billion to $1.72 billion).

TI’s performance was not encouraging in the first quarter of 2012, as it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate on the bottom line. The revenue also declined 8.0% year over year.

Currently, both Agilent Technologies Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. have a Zacks Rank of #3, implying a short-term Hold recommendation.
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