BD's Q4 net income plunges over antitrust trial loss

Becton Dickinson ($BDX) closed out its 2013 fiscal year with a big boost in revenue, but costs related to its defeat in an antitrust civil trial brought on a nearly 69% drop in net income for the fourth quarter.

Also, the New Jersey maker of medical instruments and reagents said it will launch a $450 million stock repurchase plan in fiscal 2014.

Becton Dickinson reported $91 million in net income for Q4, down 68.7% from the $289 million in net income booked over the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter. In September, a Texas jury ordered Becton Dickinson to pay Retractable Technologies ($RVP) more than $113 million in compensation to resolve a 6-year antitrust battle involving safety syringes and other products, though the final award could climb much higher. Becton Dickinson has said it will file an appeal, but in the interim reported a fourth-quarter pre-tax charge of $341 million connected to the verdict.

Additionally, Becton Dickinson also faced a $20 million charge resulting from non-cash pension settlements.

Still, revenue for the quarter hit $2.1 billion, 6.8% higher than the nearly $1.97 billion in revenue generated over the same period last year. Becton Dickinson said it generated solid U.S. growth, in part because of its acquisition of Safety Syringes. Globally, Becton Dickinson said it achieved strong expansion in medical surgical and pharmaceutical systems sales. Diagnostics revenue also progressed steadily upward, and its BD Biosciences division pushed revenue 10% higher during the quarter, thanks in part to a big demand for cell analysis instruments.

For the 2013 fiscal year, Becton Dickinson produced $8.1 billion in revenue, a 5.4% jump over $7.7 billion in revenue from fiscal 2012. Net income over the previous 12 months nearly hit $1.3 billion, up 10.5% from $1.17 billion in net income in fiscal 2012.

Vincent Forlenza, Becton Dickinson's chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement that the company exceeded its financial and operating goals for the fiscal year, and he asserted that the company's strategy "of investing and innovating for growth is succeeding."

Becton Dickinson traded at $106.90 late morning on Nov. 5, up less than half a percent.  

- read the full earnings release

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