Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) shares dropped 3% during trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $166.35 and last traded at $170.51, with a volume of 1,938,648 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $175.78.

BDX has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Becton Dickinson and from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $177.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 15th. Evercore ISI restated a “hold” rating and issued a $165.00 price objective (up from $154.00) on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Saturday, May 7th. Leerink Swann restated a “hold” rating and issued a $175.00 price objective on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Wednesday, May 18th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of Becton Dickinson and from $153.00 to $169.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. Eight 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 company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $169.50.

The stock’s 50 day moving average is $172.59 and its 200 day moving average is $159.14. The firm has a market cap of $36.87 billion and a P/E ratio of 46.44.

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $2.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.21 by $0.14. The business earned $3.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.21 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $2.05 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Becton Dickinson and Co. will post $8.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 9th will be given a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 7th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.52%.

In related news, CEO Vincent A. Forlenza sold 37,933 shares of Becton Dickinson and stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.17, for a total value of $6,303,326.61. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 207,225 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,434,578.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP John E. Gallagher sold 1,931 shares of Becton Dickinson and stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $169.87, for a total transaction of $328,018.97. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 6,758 shares in the company, valued at $1,147,981.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Utah Retirement Systems increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 37,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,797,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 35,555 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,478,000 after buying an additional 355 shares in 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 in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 81,525 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,563,000 after buying an additional 2,121 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Becton Dickinson and by 42.1% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 10,162 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,566,000 after buying an additional 3,009 shares in the last quarter.

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is a global medical technology company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of a range of medical devices, instrument systems and reagents used by healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public.

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