Becton Dickinson: Healthy Returns Since 1897

07/21/2015 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

David Fish

Executive Editor, Moneypaper

The latest crisis to dominate headlines revolved around Greece, while war in the Middle East and terrorist attacks remind us that violence can erupt almost anywhere at any time, asserts David Fish, editor of MoneyPaper.

Against these backdrops, it should come as no surprise that our stock markets continue to be as volatile as ever, with the first half of 2015 ending largely unchanged, despite frequent sell-offs and rebounds.

But there have been wars and financial crises for as long as stocks have traded, and we should have learned by now that stocks tend to rise over time, provided that investors stick with good companies through thick and thin.

Investors need to tune out the distractions that will ultimately turn out to have been temporary in nature and largely unrelated to the companies that we own.

Such is the case with our lastest featured dividend reinvestment play recommendation, Becton Dickinson (BDX).

Founded in 1897, this is a medical technology company serving healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, and the general public.

Revenues exceeded $8.45 billion in fiscal 2014 (ended September 30) and should top $10 billion in the current fiscal year.

The company makes needles, syringes, surgical blades, and infusion therapy supplies. It also makes diagnostics products, microbiology supplies, cellular analysis systems, and labware.

Consensus estimates call for BDX to earn about $7.08 per share in fiscal 2015 and $8.47 in fiscal 2016, compared with $6.25 in fiscal 2014.

Last November, Becton Dickinson’s board of directors approved a 10% hike in the quarterly dividend, from 54.5 to 60 cents per share, marking the 43rd consecutive annual increase.

It also continues to repurchase shares, having already reduced the number of outstanding shares from about 250 million ten years ago to about 209 million now.

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