Company: Becton Dickinson
Location: Franklin Lakes, NJ
CEO: Edward Ludwig
Sales: $7.16 billion
Becton Dickinson was founded by two traveling salesmen, Maxwell Becton and Fairleigh Dickinson, who met on a sales trip in 1897. Now, it has billions in sales each year--offering hospitals syringes, needles, surgical blades and other disposable gear. It also makes devices for sampling blood and for disease screening, as Barron's notes.
BD recently reported quarterly revenues of $1.878 billion for the third fiscal quarter that ended June 30, representing an increase of 3.2 percent from the prior-year period. In its medical segment, worldwide revenues for the quarter were $993 million, representing an increase of 2.5 percent over the prior-year period. Revenues reflected solid sales of diabetes care products. For the diagnostics segment, worldwide revenues for the quarter were $576 million, representing an increase of 1.7 percent over the same period last year. In the biosciences segment, worldwide revenues were $309 million, representing an increase of 8.4 percent compared with the prior-year period. The company was buoyed in part by cell analysis instrument and reagent sales.
Also recently, BD Diagnostics and Bruker Daltonics announced an international collaboration that will promote an approach to bacterial and fungal identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. And, as one blog reports, Warren Buffett has been looking at the company with great interest. Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has been accumulating shares since Q2 2009.
In addition, the company is scheduled to open a North Carolina distribution center in 2012, employing 187 people within three years. Analysts have made positive remarks about the company's stock. "As you age, you need more medical care, and there will be more demand for the kind of products Becton provides," Don Yacktman, who owns the shares in the Yacktman Fund, told Barron's in June. "To be honest, because of the recent market decline, someone buying Becton today is getting the stock for less than our price. We like it more now."