Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX)’s share price reached a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $172.38 and last traded at $171.87, with a volume of 696,811 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $171.21.

Several research firms recently weighed in on BDX. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Becton Dickinson and from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. Leerink Swann reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Sunday, May 8th. Morgan Stanley reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Sunday, May 8th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Sunday, June 12th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Tuesday, May 3rd. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Becton Dickinson and has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $168.37.

The company’s 50-day moving average price is $167.87 and its 200-day moving average price is $155.25. The company has a market capitalization of $36.51 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 46.00.

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 5th. The company reported $2.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.02 by $0.16. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.61 EPS. The company had revenue of $3.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.07 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 49.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Becton Dickinson and Co. will post $8.57 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 9th were issued a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 7th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.53%.

In related news, Director Rebecca W. Rimel sold 684 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $163.69, for a total transaction of $111,963.96. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,835 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,118,821.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP John E. Gallagher sold 1,931 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.87, for a total value of $328,018.97. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,758 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,147,981.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in BDX. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,524,847 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,084,044,000 after buying an additional 321,960 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,326,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $512,552,000 after buying an additional 118,409 shares during the last quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 9.4% in the fourth quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 1,326,786 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,431,000 after buying an additional 113,825 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 8.6% in the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 751,519 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,802,000 after buying an additional 59,593 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 593,332 shares of the company’s stock valued at $91,427,000 after buying an additional 2,600 shares during the last quarter.

Becton, Dickinson and Company is a global medical technology company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of a range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products used by healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical industry and the general public.

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