Becton Hikes Dividend - Analyst Blog

Becton, Dickinson and Company ( BDX ) recently declared a quarterly dividend of 45 cents for each common share, representing a hike of 4 cents, or approximately 10%, from the preceding quarter. The company will make the dividend payment on December 30, 2011, to its shareholders of record, as of December 12, 2011. The new quarterly dividend represents an annualized outflow of $1.80 per share.

Becton noted its robust record of creating shareholder value partly by returning funds to its shareholders. The current quarter heralds the 40 th straight quarter in which the company has hiked its dividend payment. The company's dividend track record indicates its confidence in its strategy as well as long-term outlook.

Becton Dickinson forecasts revenues will increase 1% to 3% (or 2% to 4% in constant currency) for the current fiscal year. The company projects reported earnings per share (from continuing operations) in a band of $5.75 to $5.85 for this fiscal. It intends to repurchase, subject to market-related conditions, $1.5 billion of its common stock during the upcoming fiscal year.

We remain cautious about Becton Dickinson due to the lack of major short-term catalysts. The rising demand for safety-needle products (with higher price points and margins) was the primary driver of the company's past growth, which is not expected to continue, given that the U.S. market is already largely penetrated.

On the positive side, Becton Dickinson's pre-eminent global healthcare products franchise is partly insulated from volatile macroeconomic conditions and structural deficiencies elsewhere in the healthcare delivery field.

Further, Becton Dickinson faces a wide range of competitors, including Baxter International ( BAX ) in certain niches, in each of its three business segments. We are currently Neutral on the stock.

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BECTON DICKINSO ( BDX ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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