Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $177.41 and last traded at $176.20, with a volume of 227,817 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $175.94.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on BDX shares. Vetr upgraded Becton Dickinson and from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.45 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, March 21st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Becton Dickinson and from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $174.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised their target price on Becton Dickinson and from $156.00 to $157.00 in a report on Friday, April 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Finally, Evercore ISI reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $165.00 target price (up from $154.00) on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Saturday, May 7th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Becton Dickinson and has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $168.37.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $169.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $156.29. The company has a market capitalization of $37.15 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 46.80.

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 5th. The company reported $2.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.16. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.61 EPS. The company had revenue of $3.07 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.07 billion. The business’s revenue was up 49.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Becton Dickinson and Co. will post $8.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 9th were paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 7th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.51%.

In related news, CEO Vincent A. Forlenza sold 37,933 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.17, for a total transaction of $6,303,326.61. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 207,225 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,434,578.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Ellen R. Strahlman sold 3,019 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $163.52, for a total value of $493,666.88. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,218 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,180,287.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have made changes to their positions in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 348,912 shares of the company’s stock valued at $53,767,000 after buying an additional 11,489 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 172.3% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 150,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,175,000 after buying an additional 95,161 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 238.5% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 12,362 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,905,000 after buying an additional 8,710 shares during the last quarter. Tradition Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Tradition Capital Management LLC now owns 24,118 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,716,000 after buying an additional 860 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and during the fourth quarter valued at $2,162,000.

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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