Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “In the last six months,  Becton, Dickinson and Company, popularly known as BD, has outperformed the broader industry. BD recently completed the acquisition of C. R. Bard. The company will establish a new segment — BD Interventional in which Bard will be integrated. We view the acquisition as a strategic one which will generate benefits from complementary businesses and geographical expansion. Further, BD announced that it will divest its soft tissue core needle biopsy products for $100 million to Merit Medical. On the flipside, lackluster performance by the Medical segment is a concern. Performance in the segment was affected by sluggishness in the Medication Management Solutions and Pharmaceutical Systems units in the United States. BD temporarily paused shipments of its insulin infusion sets. The voluntary recall of Barricor blood collection tubes in the recent past also adds to our woes.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Citigroup raised shares of Becton Dickinson and from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday. KeyCorp initiated coverage on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Friday. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $260.00 target price on the stock. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Wednesday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $245.00 target price on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $213.00 target price on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Friday, September 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $225.00 target price on the stock. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $230.20.

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) traded up $1.00 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $220.99. 1,332,300 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,923,533. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 5.03 and a current ratio of 5.58. Becton Dickinson and has a 1-year low of $163.36 and a 1-year high of $229.68. The firm has a market cap of $50,830.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.52, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.07.

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.37 by $0.03. Becton Dickinson and had a net margin of 8.52% and a return on equity of 20.56%. The business had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.14 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $2.12 EPS. Becton Dickinson and’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Becton Dickinson and will post 10.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 8.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,255,948 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $3,366,809,000 after purchasing an additional 1,353,780 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,270,221 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $2,003,834,000 after purchasing an additional 342,873 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,813,937 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $549,028,000 after purchasing an additional 106,966 shares during the period. Fiera Capital Corp increased its holdings in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 7.1% during the 2nd quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 2,782,146 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $542,825,000 after purchasing an additional 183,372 shares during the period. Finally, Fundsmith LLP increased its holdings in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Fundsmith LLP now owns 2,302,590 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $449,258,000 after purchasing an additional 5,977 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 87.72% of the company’s stock.

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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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