Shares of Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX) gained 10.7% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. After falling with the broader market in late 2018 over concerns about the economy, investors breathed a sigh of relief when the company announced positive preliminary results for its first quarter of fiscal 2019. The company's actual fiscal first-quarter earnings report on Feb. 5 was as solid as expected.
Becton Dickinson reported solid operating results for the first quarter, with non-GAAP revenue and earnings per share increasing 5.2% and 14.9%, respectively, year over year. The acquisition of C.R. Bard boosted revenue growth on a GAAP basis by 35% year over year.
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Revenue came in at $4.16 billion, higher than the consensus analyst estimate of $4.11 billion. Adjusted earnings per share of $2.70 also beat analyst expectations of $2.62 per share.
CEO Vincent A. Forlenza said, "We are very pleased with our strong start to fiscal year 2019. As noted in our pre-announcement, results were better than expected across all three segments." He added, "It is evident that the combination of [Becton Dickinson] and C. R. Bard is delivering value to customers, patients and shareholders around the world."
The C.R. Bard acquisition was completed in late 2017 and significantly expanded Becton Dickinson's reach across several healthcare markets, including vascular, urology, oncology, and surgical specialty products. The inclusion of Bard has helped Becton expand margins and boost adjusted earnings growth to the mid-teens.
For fiscal 2019, management is calling for adjusted revenue growth of 5% to 6%, and adjusted earnings-per-share growth of 13% to 14%, or $12.05 to $12.15 per share.
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