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Becton Dickinson Q1 Revenues Down 2 Percent, Reflecting Divestiture

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Becton Dickinson reported today that its fiscal first quarter revenues fell 2 percent year over year, reflecting the divestiture of its respiratory solutions business in October 2016. On a comparable, currency-neutral basis, revenues grew 6 percent, the firm said.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the company posted revenues of $2.92 billion compared to $2.99 billion in the year-ago quarter, beating Wall Street analysts' average estimate of $2.86 billion.

Revenues from BD's medical segment fell 4 percent to $1.96 billion from $2.05 billion a year ago. This was slightly offset by a 3 percent increase in revenues from the BD life sciences business, which recorded $958.0 million in revenues, up from $933.0 million in Q1 2016. Within the life sciences segment, pre-analytical systems revenues were up around 3 percent to $355.0 million from $344.0 million, while diagnostic systems revenues were up 6 percent to $334.0 million from $313.0 million, and biosciences revenues were down 2 percent to $270.0 million from $276.0 million.

BD's life sciences segment revenue growth reflects strong performance in the diagnostic systems and preanalytical systems units, the firm said, adding that revenues in the biosciences unit declined slightly due to a difficult comparison to the prior-year period.   

"Growth in our US diagnostics business was driven by sales in core microbiology… and an increase in flu related sales," BD CFO Christopher Reidy said on a conference call with analysts following the release of the earnings.

Revenues from the company's US business decreased 4 percent to $1.63 billion from $1.69 billion a year ago, due to the divestiture of the respiratory business. Revenues from international markets were almost flat at $1.29 billion.

BD's net income for the quarter grew to $562.0 million, or $2.58 per share, from $229.0 million, or $1.06 per share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the company reported Q1 earnings per share of $2.33, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $2.12 per share.

Q1 R&D expenses fell 3 percent year over year to $182.0 million from $187.0 million. SG&A costs fell 5 percent to $709.0 million from $748.0 million a year earlier.

For fiscal year 2017, the firm said it expects fiscal year 2017 revenues to decrease 3.5 percent to 4 percent, primarily due to the divestiture of the respiratory solutions business. The company had previously expected revenues to fall 3 percent to 3.5 percent because of incrementally negative estimated impact from foreign currency. The company also now expects fiscal year diluted earnings per share of $7.90 to $8.00.

The firm continues "to see strong growth in BD Max, across our portfolio of assays, including CT/GC/TV and our extended enteric bacterial panel in Europe, both of which launched in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016," BD Chairman, CEO, and President Vincent Forlenza said on the earnings call. "Our menu extension continued in the first quarter with the BD Max vaginal assay launch in the US. The vaginitis panel is the first [US Food and Drug Administration-cleared] PCR-based panel" of its kind in the US.

The firm has more than a dozen accounts that are in various stages of validating the new assay, he said, and added that BD expects the launch of an extended enteric bacterial panel in the US later this year.

In Thursday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of BD were down less than 1 percent to $178.41.