Medical technology major
Becton, Dickinson and Company
) revealed that it has received 510(k) clearance and Clinical
Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waiver from the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nasopharyngeal swab
specimens on the BD Veritor System, intended for Rapid Detection
of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
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Within a couple of trading sessions after the announcement,
shares of Becton, Dickinson reached a new 52-week high of $117.07
in mid-day trading on Mar 21 to close at $114.57 on the same
date. The closing price represented a strong one-year return of
BD Veritor System is cleared for use in physician chambers,
hospitals, and other patient-care centers. It is the first
commercially available CLIA-waived RSV test system that produces
a digital result.
BD Veritor System is also the third FDA-cleared and CLIA-waived
offering of Becton, Dickinson. Previously, the company's BD
Veritor System had received both FDA clearance and CLIA waiver
for Rapid Detection of Flu A+B and Group A Strep.
Becton, Dickinson's new RSV test takes help of the Advanced
Nano-particle and Adaptive Read technologies, when used in
combination with the BD Veritor System Reader, to present the
test results on a hand held reader with a digital display. The
Advanced Particle Technology improves the sensitivity of the test
while the Adaptive Read Technology reduces false-positive
As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV
is the most prevailing cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in
the U.S. in children under the age of one year, causing about
75,000 to 125,000 hospitalizations per year. Most of the children
are infected with the virus when they are two years old.
Becton, Dickinson posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.42 for
the first quarter of fiscal 2014, topping the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1.29 as well as the year-ago earnings of $1.35 by
Revenues in the quarter went up 6.1% to $2,015 million, also
exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,979 million. In
constant currency, revenues grew 6.7% in the quarter. The
increase in revenues was attributable to favorable timing of
orders in the BD Medical and BD Diagnostics segments.
For fiscal 2014, Becton, Dickinson continues to expect revenue
growth in the range of 4.0 to 5.0%, both in reported and constant
currency. The company also anticipates adjusted earnings per
share between $6.19 and $6.22 for the year (compared with the
prior range of $6.16 to $6.22), reflecting year-over-year growth
of 6.5-7.0% over fiscal 2013. The current Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $6.23 lies above the guided range.
In constant currency, adjusted earnings per share are now
anticipated to grow between 9.0 and 9.5%, or between 9.5 and
10.0% excluding the incremental impact of the medical device tax.
Currently, Becton, Dickinson carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other
favorable stocks in the medical/dental supply industry include
Align Technology Inc.
Cardinal Health, Inc.
). All othese stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2.