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Becton Dickinson Shares Fall on Weak Forecast

Wednesday, 02 Nov 2011 04:47 PM

Becton, Dickinson & Co. plunged the most in almost nine months after the maker of medical devices and supplies forecast fiscal 2012 profit that was less than analyst estimates.

Becton Dickinson declined 4.6 percent to $72.60 at the close in New York, the biggest single-day drop since Feb. 8. Shares of the Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based company have fallen 14 percent this year.

The unsettled global economy, reduced funding for medical research and lower levels of spending on health care will limit revenue growth for the year, Becton Dickinson said in a statement Wednesday. The company forecast earnings from continuing operations of $5.75 to $5.85 a share, below the $6.21 average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The weak economy and lower demand are likely to weigh on the company for at least the next six months to a year, said Michael Weinstein, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., in a note to investors last month. With 57 percent of the company’s sales coming from outside the U.S., Becton Dickinson is more vulnerable to the decreasing demand and a strengthening dollar than some rivals, he wrote.

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