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Tickers in this Article: BDX
Becton Dickinson and Company (NYSE:BDX) announced its results for the third quarter on August 2, 2012. Becton, Dickinson & Company provides healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, and individual consumers with laboratory equipment, medical supplies, devices, and diagnostic products.

In most situations, when earnings do not meet analyst estimates, a business' stock price will tend to drop. On the other hand, when actual earnings beat estimates by a significant amount, the share price will likely surge. SEE: Can Earnings Guidance Accurately Predict The Future?

The Numbers: Becton Dickinson and beat expectations with its latest EPS and revenue figures. The company reported $1.59 per share versus the $1.53 per share estimate and revenues of $1.98 billion versus the $1.94 billion estimate. EPS rose 3.9% while revenue climbed 1.5% from the same period last year. Becton Dickinson and's net income for the third quarter fell 4.7% from last year's figures to $326.9 million. The company has now reported lower net income in each of the last four quarters.

Management Quote: "We are very pleased with our third quarter results," said Vincent A. Forlenza, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President. "As we anticipated, our revenue and earnings growth improved this quarter, demonstrating that our strategy implementation is on track and in line with our previously communicated expectations."

A Look Back: Net income has dropped 8.2% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. Performance was hurt by a 24.4% decline in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: For next quarter, analysts have a more positive outlook about the company's expected results. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is $1.59 per share, up from $1.57 90 days ago. Increasing earnings estimate is a positive sign about the company and it typically leads a increase in the stock price. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $5.67 a share to $5.70 over the last ninety days.

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