Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX), a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company is a member of the dividend champions list, and has been able to boost distributions for 43 years in a row.
The company’s last dividend increase was in November 2014 when the Board of Directors approved a 10.10% increase to 60 cents/share. The company’s peer group includes Medtronic (MDT), Baxter International (BAX) and St. Jude Medical (STJ).
Over the past decade this dividend growth stock has delivered an annualized total return of 11.30% to its loyal shareholders.
The company has managed to deliver an 10.50% average increase in annual EPS since 2004. Analysts expect Becton Dickinson to earn $6.78 per share in 2015 and $7.42 per share in 2016. In comparison, the company earned $5.99/share in 2014.
Becton Dickinson has also managed to repurchase plenty of shares over the past decade, bringing the number of shares from 263 million in 2003 to 197 million in 2014. The company is not expecting much in terms of share buybacks following the acquisition of Carefusion, in an effort to deleverage quickly.
The return on equity has increased from 22% in 2005 to 23.50% by 2014. I generally want to see at least a stable return on equity over time.
A 10% growth in distributions translates into the dividend payment doubling every seven years on average. If we look at historical data, going as far back as 1975, one would notice that the company has actually managed to double distributions every six years on average.
The dividend payout ratio has increased from 27% in 2005 to 42% in 2013, before falling back to 36.40% by 2014. A lower payout is always a plus, since it leaves room for consistent dividend growth minimizing the impact of short-term fluctuations in earnings.
Full Disclosure: Long BAX, BDX and MDT
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