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Becton Dickinson Q4 Revenues Up 4 Percent

NEW YORK – Becton Dickinson reported on Tuesday that its fiscal fourth quarter revenues increased approximately 4 percent year over year.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the company posted revenues of $4.58 billion compared to $4.40 billion in the year-ago quarter, and slightly higher than analysts' average estimate of $4.56 billion. On a currency-neutral basis, Q4 revenues increased about 6 percent over the prior year.

"As expected, we finished fiscal year 2019 with very strong underlying performance and momentum across our businesses," BD CEO Vincent Forlenza said in a conference call to discuss the earnings. The revenue growth was "broad based, reflecting the breadth and depth of the portfolio," Forlenza added.

BD's Medical segment brought in $2.44 billion, a 4 percent increase over the $2.35 billion reported a year ago. BD Life Sciences recorded $1.13 billion in revenues, up approximately 2 percent from $1.11 billion in Q4 2018. Within the segment, preanalytical systems revenues were flat at $393 million, while diagnostic systems revenues were up around 7 percent to $409 million from $384 million, and biosciences revenues held steady at $332 million.

"Strength in our molecular platforms with continued double-digit growth in BD Max, as well as in our microbiology solutions for ID, AST, and blood culture, drove growth in diagnostic systems" in the quarter, BD CFO Christopher Reidy noted during the call.

BD Interventional segment revenues in the quarter increased 7 percent to $1.01 billion from $948 million a year ago.

Revenues from the company's US business was up nearly 4 percent to $2.56 billion from $2.45 billion a year ago, while revenues from international markets were up around 4 percent at $2.02 billion from $1.95 billion in Q4 2018.

BD's net income for the quarter applicable to its common shareholders was $112 million, or $0.41 per share, compared to a net loss of $173 million, or $.64 per share, a year ago. 

On an adjusted basis, the company reported Q4 EPS of $3.31, edging the Wall Street estimate of $3.30 per share.

BD's R&D expenses declined nearly 2 percent year over year to $270 million from $276 million, and SG&A costs fell approximately 1 percent to $1.09 billion from $1.10 billion.

For the full 2019 fiscal year, BD reported revenues of $17.29 billion, up 8 percent from $15.98 billion in 2018. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues grew about 5 percent year over year. 

BD Medical revenues in 2019 were up 5 percent year over year to $9.06 billion from $8.62 billion, while BD Life Sciences revenues fell about 1 percent to $4.30 billion from $4.33 billion.

Within Life Sciences, preanalytical systems revenues were up a fraction of a percent year over year to $1.56 billion from $1.55 billion, and diagnostics systems revenues grew nearly 1 percent to $1.55 billion from $1.54 billion. Bioscience revenues fell approximately 4 percent to $1.19 billion from $1.24 billion.

BD Interventional segment revenues for the full year increased 29 percent to $3.93 billion from $3.04 billion a year ago.

For 2019, BD's net income applicable to common shareholders jumped to $1.07 billion, or $3.89 per share, from $159 million, or $.60 per share, in 2018. The firm reported adjusted full-year earnings per share of $11.68, matching the consensus Wall Street estimate.

BD's R&D expenses for 2019 rose 6 percent year over year to $1.06 billion from $1.0 billion, and SG&A costs were up about 8 percent to $4.33 billion from $4.02 billion in 2018. 

During the call, Forlenza noted that in 2020 the firm will continue to ramp the launch of its CE-IVD marked BD Cor high-throughput molecular system, "building off of strong interest and excellent feedback from initial placements in Europe." The initial launch included the BD Onclarity HPV genotyping assay. The planned menu for the system includes infectious disease assays for enteric diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and viral load monitoring. The company is targeting a launch of BD Cor in the US as soon as the end of 2020. 

In the call, Forlenza noted that the firm is modeling its expectation to have $11 billion to deploy over the three years between 2021 and 2023, and it plans to buy back shares and to look at M&A and tuck-in acquisitions, but the company is not interested in another big deal akin to the Bard acquisition.

For fiscal 2020, BD provided guidance for revenue growth in the 4.0 to 4.5 percent range, or 5 to 5.5 percent on a currency-neutral basis.

The firm expects that 2020 EPS will be between $12.50 and $12.65, which would represent growth of 9.5 to 11 percent, and that adjusted diluted earnings per share will grow around 7.0 to 8.5 percent.

In Tuesday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of BD were down 3 percent at $252.91.