April 28, 2009 / 12:41 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 2-Becton profit tops Street, maintains forecast

* Becton Dickinson Q2 profit $1.18 excluding items

* Sees full-year earnings up 9-11 pct excluding items

* Shares off 2.8 pct (Adds analyst comment, share price)

By Bill Berkrot

NEW YORK, April 28 (Reuters) - Becton Dickinson & Co’s (BDX.N) quarterly profit fell 5 percent and revenue fell short of expectations, sending shares down nearly 3 percent.

Although the medical equipment maker’s profit beat expectations by 2 cents, Morgan Stanley analyst David Lewis said results from all business units were a bit disappointing.

“There will likely be concern over BD’s economic exposure going forward in areas such as pre-fillable syringes” due to falling sales of some key drugs that use them “and questions associated with the composition of the maintained bottom-line outlook,” Lewis wrote in a research note.

Excluding a $45 million legal settlement charge, Becton, which also makes diagnostic medical tests and lab equipment, earned $1.18 per share.

Net income for the second fiscal quarter ended March 31 fell to $261.3 million, or $1.06 per share, from $276.2 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago.

The Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based company’s results were hit by unfavorable foreign currency rates due to the strengthening dollar.

Becton still expects full-year earnings from continuing operations, excluding the 11-cents-a-share legal settlement charge, to rise 9 percent to 11 percent over the $4.46 a share it earned in fiscal 2008.

Revenue for the quarter fell 0.4 percent to $1.74 billion, just shy of Wall Street estimates of $1.76 billion.

“In the face of global economic pressures, we are pleased to have achieved top-line growth in all three segments after adjusting for the negative impact of foreign currency translation,” said Chief Executive Edward Ludwig in a statement.

Becton shares were down $1.77, or 2.8 percent, to $63.10 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Brian Moss and Derek Caney)

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