Leading medical devices maker
) has raised its quarterly dividend by a penny to 21 cents per
share, representing 5% growth. This lifts the annual dividend to
84 cents per share from the current payout of 80 cents.
The revised quarterly dividend is payable on Aug 2, 2013, to
shareholders of record as on Jul 22, 2013. Bard's previous
dividend increase was in Jun 2012, when it raised the quarterly
payout by 5% to 20 cents a share from 19 cents.
The NJ-based company also approved a $500 million share
repurchase program. This is in addition to about $30 million
outstanding shares under last year's $500 million share buyback
The dividend increase along with the share buyback program
underscores Bard's commitment to deliver incremental returns to
investors leveraging a solid balance sheet, healthy free cash
flow and earnings power. Bard's solid balance sheet allows the
company to support the dividend hike as well as the share
repurchase program. The company exited the first quarter of 2013
with cash, restricted cash and short-term investments of $905.3
million, down 1.7% sequentially.
CR Bard remains successful in maintaining a positive earnings
surprise streak. Although the company managed to beat estimates
this quarter, we remain concerned over the sluggish growth rate
in the U.S., despite improvement in the broad market. Its recent
acquisitions and initiatives to expand into emerging markets
should boost growth in the long term.
Moreover, the company's claim that the Gore litigation is
moving toward a positive direction and is about to complete
instills confidence. However, there is always a degree of
uncertainty related to legal matters.
The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other medical stocks
which are expected to do well include
The Cooper Companies
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
BARD C R INC (BCR): Free Stock Analysis
CONMED CORP (CNMD): Free Stock Analysis
COOPER COS (COO): Free Stock Analysis Report
WEST PHARM SVC (WST): Free Stock Analysis
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