Feb 27 (Reuters) - Agilent Technologies on Tuesday beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit and revenue, helped by strong sales in its life sciences and diagnostics units, sending shares up 5% in extended trading.

The equipment maker reported quarterly revenue of $1.66 billion, which was above analysts' estimates of $1.58 billion, according to LSEG data.

On an adjusted basis, the company made a profit of $1.29 per share, compared with analysts' estimates of $1.22 per share, helped by cost management.

Revenue at Agilent's life sciences and applied markets unit dropped 10% to $846 million, but still was ahead of estimates of $747.8 million.

"While still too early to call an overall market recovery, results were better than expected," CEO Michael McMullen said on a conference call.

The medical equipment maker maintained its full-year 2024 profit forecast of between $5.44 and $5.55 per share. Analysts were expecting $5.49 per share.

The company sees a "slow but steady recovery throughout the year," said McMullen.

Larger peers Thermo Fisher and Danaher have said they expect that demand from biotech customers for products and services used in drug development will remain weak for the first half of 2024.

Contract drug manufacturers and equipment makers have seen sluggish demand as cash-strapped drug developers remain wary of spending in a high-interest environment.

The California-based company forecast second-quarter revenue between $1.56 billion to $1.59 billion, compared to analysts' expectations of $1.61 billion. (Reporting by Sruthi Narasimha Chari in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)