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BD Q1 Revenues Improve 6 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Becton Dickinson today reported a 6 percent increase year over year in its revenues for fiscal first quarter 2014, while its profits were more than halved.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2013, BD posted revenues of $2.02 billon, compared to $1.90 billion a year ago, and beating the average analyst estimate of $1.98 billion. In a statement, the firm said that revenue growth came partly from favorable timing of orders in the BD Medical and BD Diagnostics segments.

BD Medical, the company's largest segment, saw revenues rise 8 percent to $1.06 billion from $983 million, while BD Diagnostics increased 3 percent to $672 million from $652 million. The third segment, BD Biosciences, climbed 5 percent to $279 million from $265 million.

Within BD Diagnostics, the pre-analytical systems business improved to $347 million from $335 million in the year-ago period, an almost 4 percent increase, while the diagnostic systems business inched up nearly 3 percent to $325 million from $317 million.

BD's profit for the quarter was down to $271 million, compared to $625 million a year ago. In the year-ago period, BD recorded income of $355 million from discontinued operations, compared to none in the recently completed quarter.

Its EPS from continuing operations for Q1 2014 slid to $1.37, compared to $3.13 a year ago. On an adjusted basis, EPS from continuing operations without the medical device excise tax, which went into effect January 2013, was $1.42. Analysts had estimated EPS of $1.30 on average.

BD's R&D spending for the quarter was up 7 percent year over year to $126 million from $118 million, while SG&A costs increased also 7 percent to $531 million from $496 million.

BD President and CEO Vincent Forlenza said in a statement that the firm is off to a "strong start" for fiscal 2014. "Our revenue and earnings growth exceeded our expectations and we have continuing confidence that we have built a solid foundation for future growth," he said.

The company today narrowed its guidance for FY 2014 by raising the bottom end of previously stated revenue and EPS ranges. Revenue is now anticipated to grow between 4.5 and 5 percent, up from a previous range of 4 to 5 percent. EPS from continuing operations was changed to a new range of between $6.19 and $6.22 from an earlier projection of between $6.16 and $6.22.

Its ajusted EPS is estimated to grow between 9 and 9.5 percent, compared to an earlier estimate of between 8.5 and 9.5 percent.

BD reiterated its plans to repurchase about $450 million of its common stock in fiscal 2014.

In Tuesday morning trading today on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of BD were up 2 percent at $107.29.

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