1 Becton Drive
Franklin Lakes, NJ USA 07417
by Alison Haight, Simmon MBA candidate
Founded in 1897, Becton Dickinson (NYSE – BDX) pioneered the hypodermic needle. Today, BDX is a medical device company best known as a producer of needle-free safety products, safe-needle devices, and other surgical tools. BDX also manufactures a wide variety of laboratory research tools and clinical diagnostic tools. The company has four strategic areas of interest: reduction in the spread of infection, advancement of global health, improvement of therapeutic capacity, and progress toward disease management, particularly infectious diseases, cancer, and diabetes. With 28,000 employees working in 212 locations in nearly 50 countries, BDX is a truly global company. In fiscal year 2007, geographic sales were split almost evenly between domestic (48 percent) and international (52 percent) markets. Customers include hospitals, healthcare institutions, life sciences laboratories, clinical labs, biotech companies, and individual users.
Largely attributed to the company’s strong management team, BDX is a historically stable company with consistent earnings growth and dividend yields. BDX’s strong balance sheet and diverse product mix place the company in a good position during the economic downturn, as medical devices and supplies are often resilient during times of economic uncertainty.
BDX has an annual Citizenship Report and participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project. The research firm Innovest, a division of RiskMetrics, describes BDX as having “one of the most proactive environment programs in the sector.” Performance is measured by internal audits at 45 facilities worldwide. The company rewards managers and executives for achieving certain environmental objectives.
In November 2007, BDX and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) negotiated a price agreement with 39 low income countries, which lowered the price of tuberculosis diagnostic tests by approximately 50 percent. This partnership is especially important because of the emergence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and because tuberculosis is the most common cause of death in AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa.
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