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Becton Dickinson Fiscal Q3 Revenues Drop 11 Percent

NEW YORK – Becton Dickinson reported an 11 percent year-over-year decrease in its fiscal third quarter revenues on Thursday due to impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For the three months ended June 30, the medical technology company posted $3.86 billion in revenues, down from $4.35 billion in the year-ago quarter and below the average analyst estimates of $3.94 billion.

Tom Polen, CEO and president of BD, commented in a statement that the diversity of the firm's portfolio, and the strength and scale of its manufacturing infrastructure, make BD "a stronger partner" for its customers. The firm has seen "continued strong demand" for products that support the global COVID-19 response, Polen said, including the recently launched US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 rapid point-of-care antigen test.

Last month, BD was awarded $24 million to boost manufacturing of its BD Veritor Plus SARS-CoV-2 assay. The US Department of Health and Human Services will make a large purchase of the antigen tests and Veritor instruments, and six US states recently formed a consortium to purchase the tests and systems. BD is also aiding national vaccination programs globally, Polen noted. As of late July, the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom had ordered a combined total of 330 million needles and syringes for vaccinations. A majority of these orders will be delivered by the end of December 2020 in anticipation of a vaccine being approved late this year or early 2021, according to a recent statement.

On a call to recap the earnings, Polen noted that in the first month since launch of the antigen test, BD has shipped more Veritor readers than it usually does in an entire year, which he said is "a strong indicator of the unprecedented interest and demand for near real-time point-of-care COVID testing.". The firm is ramping up manufacturing capacities to make 10 million antigen tests in fiscal Q4, and scaling up to 8 million tests per month by the end of the fiscal year. Production of the assay is expected to be 12 million tests per month by the end of February 2021. The firm is assuming an average selling price of $20 per test.

The firm's three molecular solutions on BD Max are also being scaled up. "We are now producing 1 million rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests each month for use on BD Max ... and we are investing in further expanding BD Max capacity so we can produce an additional 900,000 tests per month" by the end of the year, Polen said.

BD is also developing combined influenza and COVID-19 assays for the Veritor and BD Max platforms.

Revenues from BD's medical segment were $2.12 billion during the quarter, a decrease of 8 percent from $2.31 billion last year impacted by lower hospital admissions due to COVID-19, which resulted in fewer procedures, reduced demand, and distributors rebalancing inventories in May and June.

BD life sciences revenues totaled $951 million, down 10 percent from $1.06 billion in the prior-year quarter driven by weakness in the preanalytical systems and biosciences units. This was partially offset by strong growth in the diagnostic systems unit that was driven by sales related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing, primarily on the BD Max platform. Performance in the biosciences unit reflects lower demand for research instruments and reagents due to COVID-19.

Specifically, preanalytical systems revenue was $312 million, down 23 percent from $407 million last year. Diagnostic systems revenue was $402 million, up 9 percent from $368 million last year. Biosciences revenues were $237 million, down 16 percent from $284 million last year.

BD interventional revenues were $782 million during the quarter, down 20 percent from $981 million a year ago, reflecting continued deferral of elective procedures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. BD noted that demand for elective procedures improved as the quarter progressed, but remained below pre-COVID levels.

Revenues from BD's US business were $2.12 billion for the quarter, down 13 percent from $2.44 billion last year reflecting the net impact of COVID-19 across all three reportable segments, although the firm said revenue growth in the Diagnostic Systems unit was strong due to COVID-19 testing. Revenues from international markets totaled $1.74 billion, down 9 percent from $1.91 billion in the prior year period but driven by declines in China and Latin America, partially offset by growth in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The company's net income applicable to its common shareholders for the quarter was $277 million, or $.97 per share, down from $413 million, or $1.51 per share, in the prior-year period. Adjusted EPS was $2.20, beating the consensus analyst estimate of $2.04.

BD's R&D expenses for the quarter were $262 million, down 7 percent from $282 million in fiscal Q3 2019, while selling and administrative expenses totaled $980 million, down 9 percent from $1.08 billion last year.

The firm ended the quarter with $2.88 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

The company expects full fiscal year 2020 revenues to decrease 2.5 to 3.0 percent as reported, and adjusted diluted earnings per share to be between $9.80 and $10.00.  This represents a decline of approximately 14 to 16 percent from fiscal 2019 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $11.68.

BD's shares were down 8 percent at $260.08 in Thursday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.