U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 16 mins

Becton, Dickinson fiscal 4Q net income falls 4 pct

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. (AP) -- Becton, Dickinson and Co. posted a 4 percent decline in net income for the fourth quarter with demand for the medical devices the company makes tested this year by the strong U.S. dollar.

Its outlook for next year disappointed investors and shares slide 4 percent to $75.11 in midday trading.

Sales at the company's medical segment fell 0.5 percent to $1.05 billion, hurt by the effects of unfavorable currency exchange rates. Excluding those effects, sales would have actually been up 5.9 percent, the company said.

That drop was partially offset by a 0.5 percent sales increase at the company's diagnostics segment to $645 million. Excluding exchange rates, sales at that segment grew 5.1 percent.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company earned $289 million, or $1.43 per share, down from $300 million, or $1.36 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The recent quarter's results included a charge of 7 cents per share mainly related to non-cash pension settlements. Excluding that charge and 7 cents per share and discontinued operations, the company said it posted an adjusted profit from continuing operations of $1.42 per share.

Revenue fell 1 percent to $1.97 billion from $1.99 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.40 per share on $1.96 billion in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

For the full year, Becton earned $1.17 billion, or $5.59 per share, down from $1.27, or $5.62 per share, in fiscal 2011. Revenue rose to $7.71 billion from $7.58 billion.

The company said it expects to post a fiscal 2013 profit from continuing operations of $5.58 to $5.64 per share on revenue growth of 2 percent to 3 percent. Based on the company's 2012 revenue, the guidance projects fiscal 2013 revenue of $7.86 billion to $7.94 billion.

However, Wall Street had been looking for per-share earnings closer to $5.80 per share on $7.94 billion in revenue.