Test and Measurement: Keysight reports a record quarter

Despite the economic impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic, Keysight Technologies reported a record fiscal fourth quarter, with revenues up 9% and profits up to $217 million.

“Keysight delivered an outstanding quarter and finish to our fiscal year, driven by strong execution and broad-based demand for our differentiated solutions.  Despite COVID-related macro challenges, it was a record year for orders, gross margin, operating margin, earnings per share and free cash flow,” said Ron Nersesian, Keysight’s chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. He went on to say that the company’s “people and culture are a competitive differentiator and, in the face of unprecedented challenges, Keysight exits this year stronger than ever, and well-positioned to capitalize on our growth opportunities ahead.”

Revenue for the quarter were $1.22 billion, when compared with $1.12 billion last year. Net income was $217 million, up from $195 million.

For the full year, the picture was slightly less rosy on the revenue side: revenues were down about 2%, totaling $4.22 billion. But profits were up, with net income at $627 million, compared with $621 million last year.

Keysight’s Communications Solutions Group revenues were up 8% in the fiscal fourth quarter to $901 million, and the company was driven by “strength in next-generation commercial communications technologies and increased global aerospace defense and government investment.” In Keysight’s Electronic Industrial Solutions Group, revenue growth was even stronger, up 12% year-over-year to $319 million. Keysight credited its product portfolio for the general electronics market and “continued strong demand for semiconductor measurement solutions.”

Keysight repurchased a total of $500 million of its shares through a repurchase program authorized in May 2019; this week, it announced a new repurchase program worth up to $715 million.

Keysight expects its first fiscal quarter of 2021 revenue to be $1.14-$1.16 billion.

In other company news this week, Keysight introduced a new performance test solution aimed at lab environments, for automatic benchmarking and performance evaluation of 5G New Radio devices and base stations. that enables mobile operators to automatically benchmark and evaluate performance of 5G new radio (NR) devices and base stations in a laboratory environment. The test company also noted that its social responsibility efforts continue to gain recognition; it was named a constituent of the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI) for the second year in a row, and saw its third year of ranking as an industrial goods industry leader in America’s Most Just Companies by Forbes and Just Capital.

In other test news:

Synopsys has acquired optical measurement company Light Tec for an undisclosed amount, bolstering its ability to provide precise light scattering data for high-precision simulation that shows how light interacts with surfaces and is important for development of optical systems including sensors, displays and semiconductors. Synopsys said that the acquisition will enable it to “continuously augment” the materials and media software libraries provided in its optical software products for faster, physics-based system modeling.

Tektronix has launched a new initiative focused on university lab equipment for training new engineers. The company’s Own the Future offers up packages of bench solutions designed to meet the needs of three types of university labs: a fundamental teaching lab, an electronics engineering lab and a next-generation radio frequency/wireless lab. The effort aims to “[take]the guesswork out of how to best design a bench to meet a university lab’s needs.”

Anritsu said that Panduit has approved its Network Master Pro MT1000A for certifying that Panduit’s OneMode-Link passive media converters have been installed properly in high-speed networks.

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