BD falls after failing to meet profit forecast expectations

Although Becton Dickinson ($BDX) saw its fourth quarter revenues increase 9.5% versus the same period in 2010, the company's shares fell after it forecast fiscal-year profit below Wall Street's expectations, as Reuters notes. 

For the 2012 fiscal year, BD forecasts diluted earnings per share to be between $5.75 and $5.85. However, analysts were expecting $6.18, according to Reuters.

BD reported full-year revenues of $7.8 billion, up 6.2% compared with last year. But net income for the quarter was down 24% to just under $300 million versus $396.7 million from the same period last year.

In the U.S., BD saw Q4 revenues of $843 million, up 1.3% versus last year. However, outside the U.S., revenues were about $1.2 billion, an increase of 16% compared with during the same period last year, the company said in a release. Like other companies, BD saw emerging markets as major areas for growth.

The company also saw growth in its medical (10%), diagnostics (8.6%) and biosciences (9.6%) units for the quarter. The medical segment grew on demand for diabetes care and international safety sales and what the company called "solid sales" of pharmaceutical systems products. In diagnostics, BD saw strong revenues from both the women's health and cancer and the infectious disease product offerings. Meanwhile, the biosciences segment gained strength from instrument and reagent sales in the cell analysis unit.

"We are pleased with our solid finish to fiscal year 2011. Despite a challenging business environment, all segments contributed to our success and growth," said Vincent Forlenza, president and CEO. "We will continue to drive operational efficiencies and make capital and R&D investments to support our innovation strategy as we look to fiscal year 2012 and beyond."

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