Shares of medical technology major Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) reached a new 52-week high of $110.13 in mid-day trading yesterday. Shares of the company closed at $109.24 on the same day, representing a solid one-year return of 43.6%.
BDX has a market cap of $21.2 billion. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months stood at approximately 663.9K.
Shares of Becton, Dickinson and Company started escalating following its impressive fiscal fourth quarter results on Nov 5. The recent announcement of expansion of its BD Accelerate rapid delivery program to the biopharmaceutical injectable drug market further bolstered investor confidence on the stock.
BDX posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.58 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.47 as well as the year-ago earnings of $1.42 by 11.3%. Revenues in the quarter went up 6.8% to $2,101 million, also exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,045 million. In constant currency, revenues grew 7.2% in the quarter.
For fiscal 2013, adjusted earnings rose 10.8% to $5.95 per share from $5.37 per share in the prior fiscal year. Yearly earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.75. Revenues in the year rose 4.5% to $8,054 million.
For fiscal 2014, Becton Dickinson expects both reported and constant currency revenue growth in the range of 4.0 to 5.0%. BDX also anticipates adjusted earnings per share between $6.16 and $6.22 for the year, which tally with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.21 and reflect a year-over-year growth of 3.5–4.5%.
In constant currency, adjusted earnings per share are anticipated to grow between 8.5 and 9.5%, or between 9.0 and 10.0% excluding the incremental impact of the medical device tax.
Expansion of BD Accelerate Program
BDX revealed that its rapid delivery program BD Accelerate has been expanded to include the biopharmaceutical injectable drug market with the BD Neopak Glass Prefillable Syringe system. BD Accelerate is a make-to-stock program that will provide delivery within two weeks of fully-validated BD syringe systems and associated quality systems documentation to its pharmaceutical customers.
The program was launched in 2011 and aimed at offering quick delivery of fully-validated syringe systems that are optimized for biologics, vaccines and other parenteral medicines to the company’s pharmaceutical customers.
The BD Accelerate program is capable of producing and storing large quantities of fully-validated syringe components. It results in major reduction in lead time versus traditional processes and helps customers to begin testing earlier in the drug development process.
BDX currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the medical/dental supplies industry include Align Technology Inc. (ALGN), McKesson Corporation (MCK), and Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (MMSI). All of them carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).