* Adjusted operating fiscal Q1 EPS $1.53 vs Street view of
* Company notes less pricing pressure than expected
* Raises outlook for 2013
* Shares rise as much as 3 pct
(Adds CEO comments, financial details, updates stock price)
Feb 5 Becton Dickinson and Co reported
higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday, boosted by
an early flu season, and the medical technology company raised
its outlook for the full year, sending shares to their highest
level since July 2011.
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based Becton Dickinson makes
needles, drug delivery systems and lab equipment used in
research and diagnostics. Executives told analysts on a
conference call that margins were at the top end of their
anticipated range during the latest quarter, partly because of
firmer-than-expected pricing of many products.
"Pricing was a little bit better in the first quarter ... We
haven't gone back and changed the guidance on pricing yet. We
are still watching Europe in particular to see what will happen
there," Chairman and Chief Executive Vincent Forlenza said on
the call. "We didn't see the price decreases that we thought we
might see. It is not a pricing increase so much."
For the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, the company
posted net earnings of $625.4 million, or $3.13 per share,
compared with $263.0 million, or $1.21 per share, a year
Earnings per share from continuing operations rose to $1.35
from $1.14 in the year-ago period. On that basis, analysts on
average were expecting $1.24, according to Thomson Reuters
Lower expenses and fewer shares outstanding contributed to
the per-share gains.
Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $1.90 billion, led by sales in
the company's Bioscience unit, which sells research and clinical
instruments and other tools used in research.
The company said it benefited from some one-time items in
the latest quarter. The current quarter ending in March is not
expected to benefit materially from flu sales, the company said.
For the full fiscal year, it raised the bottom end of its
previously stated revenue growth outlook to 4.0 percent from 3.5
percent, excluding the impact of foreign currency. It kept the
top end of the forecast at 4.5 percent.
Earnings per share from continuing operations are expected
to grow 7.5 percent to 8.0 percent from fiscal 2012, excluding
the impact of currency.
The company also said it planned to repurchase $500 million
of its common stock in fiscal 2013.
Becton Dickinson shares were up 2.5 percent at $87.32 in
midmorning on Tuesday. Earlier in the session they rose to
$87.64, the highest level since July 2011.
(Reporting by Debra Sherman in Chicago; editing by Lisa Von Ahn
and Matthew Lewis)