Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $259.00 target price on the medical instruments supplier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 10.44% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “In the last year, Becton, Dickinson and Company, popularly known as BD, has outperformed the broader industry. BD recently completed the acquisition of C. R. Bard. The company will now establish a new segment — BD Interventional in which Bard will be integrated. Further, in collaboration with Check-Points Health B.V., the company obtained CE Mark for molecular screening test for antibiotic-resistant carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs) on the BD MAX System. On the flip side, lackluster performance by the Medical segment, from the prior year period is a concern. Performance in the segment was affected by sluggishness in the Medication Management Solutions and Pharmaceutical Systems units in the United States. BD temporarily paused shipments of its insulin infusion sets. The voluntary recall of Barricor blood collection tubes in the recent past also adds to our woes.”

Several other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Becton Dickinson and from $205.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $210.00 price objective on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $245.00 price objective on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Becton Dickinson and in a report on Friday, September 22nd. They set an “outperform” rating and a $225.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Argus raised their price objective on shares of Becton Dickinson and to $235.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Becton Dickinson and presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $233.80.

Shares of Becton Dickinson and (NYSE BDX) opened at $234.51 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $62,476.98, a P/E ratio of 50.43, a PEG ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 5.03 and a current ratio of 5.58. Becton Dickinson and has a fifty-two week low of $169.19 and a fifty-two week high of $234.70.

Becton Dickinson and (NYSE:BDX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.37 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.14 billion. Becton Dickinson and had a net margin of 8.52% and a return on equity of 20.56%. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.12 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Becton Dickinson and will post 10.66 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BDX. Beach Investment Management LLC. bought a new position in Becton Dickinson and in the second quarter valued at approximately $2,218,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 7.6% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 711,958 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $138,910,000 after acquiring an additional 50,455 shares during the last quarter. First National Trust Co. boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 29.0% in the second quarter. First National Trust Co. now owns 1,650 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $322,000 after acquiring an additional 371 shares during the last quarter. MAI Capital Management boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 41.3% in the second quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 1,677 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $327,000 after acquiring an additional 490 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aviva PLC boosted its stake in Becton Dickinson and by 7.1% in the second quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 387,799 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $75,659,000 after acquiring an additional 25,797 shares during the last quarter. 75.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Becton Dickinson and

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) 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. The Company operates through two segments: BD Medical and BD Life Sciences. The BD Medical segment produces an array of medical technologies and devices that are used to help improve healthcare delivery in a range of settings.

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