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Becton, Dickinson Ready to Sing a New Song

By Brian Orelli, PhD - Feb 7, 2018 at 4:35PM

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The addition of Bard will start paying off this year.

Becton, Dickinson (BDX 2.14%) reported results from its first fiscal quarter, but all eyes were on the rest of the fiscal year that will include contributions from the recently closed acquisition of C.R. Bard.

Becton, Dickinson results: The raw numbers


Q1 2018

Q1 2017

Year-Over-Year Change


$3.08 billion

$2.92 billion


Income from operations

$230 million

$811 million


Earnings per share (EPS)




Adjusted EPS




Data source: Becton, Dickinson.

What happened with Becton, Dickinson this quarter?

  • Revenue from the medical segment increased 1.9% year over year. While medication and procedural solutions grew 5% on the back of pre-filled flush devices, infection prevention, and surgical products and pharmaceutical systems revenue grew 3.7%, the division was hurt by the medication management solutions division that fell 3.4% year over year as it continues to be affected by the company's previously announced decision to change its U.S. dispensing business. Rounding out the group, revenue from diabetes care was up 2.2% with pen needles driving the growth.
  • In the life sciences segment, revenue increased 7.3% thanks to a 12.5% jump in diagnostic systems revenue. An early flu season helped boost the year-over-year comparison, but the diagnostic systems division is also benefiting from growth of its BD MAX molecular platform and Kiestra specimen processors. Preanalytical systems and biosciences were up 4% and 5.3%, respectively, which brought the segment's revenue down, but were basically in line with the company's overall growth.
  • Gross margins improved, but the company spent a little more on selling and administrative expenses and boosted its investment in research and development, resulting in a slight decrease in adjusted operating margins.
  • The GAAP numbers include costs associated with acquisitions and tax expense associated with the new U.S. tax legislation as well as a one-time benefit from an antitrust ruling in the year-ago quarter, so looking at adjusted EPS is the best way to make a year-over-year comparison.
Two people shaking hands in a conference room.

Image source: Getty Images.

What management had to say

Becton, Dickinson is looking for cost synergies of $300 million from the Bard acquisition as it exits 2020 with $70 million to $80 million coming this fiscal year as Chief Financial Officer Christopher Reidy laid out:

"I'd like to point out that, for the full year, we expect to deliver significant underlying margin expansion of 200 basis points to 250 basis points. This reflects the inclusion of Bard beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2018 and is an increase of approximately 100 basis points from our prior guidance of 100 to 150 basis points of margin expansion for legacy BD."

In addition to the cost savings, there's also potential to increase sales from cross-selling of the companies' products as Thomas Polen, president of the company's medical segment, highlighted:

"A good example of it would be the ChloraPrep team who primarily goes into ORs and calls on surgeons -- now in the surgery group -- great opportunity ex-U.S. where Bard has had teams calling on surgeons in Europe. BD never had that in the past."

Polen is aware of the potential clash of cultures, so it's going through the integration in a thoughtful way:

"We're not looking to just suddenly push the portfolios together through one common sales team everywhere. We're being very staged in the way that we plan and think that through so that we prevent any dis-synergies."

Looking forward

Revenue is expected to increase 30% to 31% this fiscal year thanks to the contribution of Bard, which isn't a very useful number. Fortunately, management also provided comparisons as if the company owned Bard last fiscal year, guiding for revenue growth of 4.5% to 5.5% on a currency-neutral basis.

As discussed, the synergies will help operating margins improve, leading to adjusted earnings-per-share growth that will substantially outpace revenue growth of the combined companies. Management guided for adjusted earnings of $10.85 to $11 per share, an increase of 15% to 16% over last fiscal year, or about 12% when measured on a currency-neutral basis.

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