Medical technologies major CR Bard Inc. (BCR) revealed that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of another $500 million of the company’s common stock. In addition, the company raised the quarterly dividend on its stock by 5% to 22 cents per share. However, both the news could not entice investors as shares fell 2.6% in the last three trading sessions.
Prior to this, BCR authorized the repurchase of $500 million of its common stock on Jan 30, 2014. Of the total amount authorized at that time, roughly $30 million worth of shares are left for repurchase till date. In the first quarter of the year, BCR repurchased 1.8 million shares for $78.5 million.
BCR follows a policy of dividend raise (generally by a penny) every year. The increased dividend is payable on Aug 1, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jul 21, 2014.
BCR posted an 18.6% rise in adjusted earnings per share to $1.91 for the first quarter of 2014 from $1.61 in the prior-year quarter. Earnings per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.86 as well as the company’s previously announced guidance range of $1.83 to $1.87.
Revenues grew 8.0% both in terms of reported and constant currency on a year-over-year basis to $799.3 million. Revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $792 million while revenue growth exceeded the company’s previously announced guidance of 6 to 7%.
BCR’s operating cash flow declined nearly 19.0% to $114.3 million in the first quarter of 2014. The decrease can be attributable to loss on sale of investments and higher taxes.
Moving ahead, BCR expects constant currency sales growth between 6 and 8% in the second quarter of 2014. On the earnings front, the company expects adjusted earnings in the range of $1.98 to $2.02 a share. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.00 for the quarter lies within the guided range.
BCR reiterated its adjusted EPS guidance between $8.20 and $8.30 for the full year. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.26 lies within the guided range.
BCR currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the medical/dental supply industry include Bio-Reference Laboratories Inc. (BRLI), Milestone Scientific Inc. (MLSS) and Steris Corp. (STE). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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