Becton, Dickinson and Company (NYSE:BDX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Becton, Dickinson and Company, popularly known as BD, saw a mixed third quarter, wherein adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while revenues missed the same. A solid guidance for fiscal 2017 instills our confidence in the stock. The company is steadily progressing with its planned acquisition of medical technology player, C. R. Bard. The $24-billion transaction is slated to be completed in the fourth quarter. Post completion, BD expects growth in adjusted earnings starting fiscal 2019. We view the acquisition as a strategic fit which will generate benefits from complementary businesses and geographical expansion. BD's cost-control initiatives are also noteworthy. On the flipside, unfavorable sales performance from the BD Medical segment is a concern. Massive growth in the segment was negated by sluggishness in the Medication Management Solutions and Pharmaceutical Systems units in the U.S.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on BDX. Evercore ISI raised Becton, Dickinson and from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $186.00 to $200.00 in a research note on Monday, April 24th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Becton, Dickinson and from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $210.00 to $180.00 in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $177.00 price objective on shares of Becton, Dickinson and in a research note on Thursday, April 13th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $225.00 price objective (up from $200.00) on shares of Becton, Dickinson and in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Finally, BidaskClub raised Becton, Dickinson and from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $194.69.

Shares of Becton, Dickinson and (NYSE BDX) opened at 196.43 on Monday. Becton, Dickinson and has a 12 month low of $161.29 and a 12 month high of $206.63. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $197.67 and a 200-day moving average price of $186.53. The firm has a market cap of $41.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.62 and a beta of 1.05.

Becton, Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.46 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.44 by $0.02. Becton, Dickinson and had a return on equity of 22.53% and a net margin of 6.25%. The business had revenue of $3.04 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.06 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.35 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Becton, Dickinson and will post $9.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, VP Jeffrey S. Sherman sold 28,765 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $185.98, for a total transaction of $5,349,714.70. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 70,821 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,171,289.58. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cribstone Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Becton, Dickinson and by 320.2% in the first quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC now owns 874 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $161,000 after buying an additional 666 shares during the period. Starfire Investment Advisers Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Becton, Dickinson and during the first quarter valued at $409,000. Integrated Wealth Management raised its position in shares of Becton, Dickinson and by 3.4% in the first quarter. Integrated Wealth Management now owns 5,444 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $999,000 after buying an additional 181 shares during the period. Private Trust Co. NA raised its position in shares of Becton, Dickinson and by 154.8% in the first quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 4,196 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $769,000 after buying an additional 2,549 shares during the period. Finally, Oakmont Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Becton, Dickinson and during the first quarter valued at $920,000. 75.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Becton, Dickinson and Company Profile

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is a global medical technology company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of a range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products. The Company operates through two segments: BD Medical and BD Life Sciences. The BD Medical segment produces an array of medical technologies and devices that are used to help improve healthcare delivery in a range of settings.

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