Becton Dickinson profit beats estimates on boost from COVID-19 tests

Medical device maker Becton Dickinson and Co. beat quarterly profit estimates on Thursday, aided by higher demand for its COVID-19 diagnostic test kits as the United States ramped up testing for the new coronavirus.

The country, which has recorded at least 158,561 COVID-19 deaths and about 4.8 million cases so far, is running only 800,000 diagnostic coronavirus tests daily, while 6-10 million tests per day are needed, by various estimates.

Revenue in Becton’s diagnostics systems unit rose nearly 19% to $184 million, the company said.

Becton Dickinson, which sells a variety of COVID-19 tests, said it was working to ramp up testing capacity for many of them in the event of a second wave of infections in the fall.

The company also benefited from orders received from the United States, UK and Canada for millions of its syringes and needles for COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Excluding items, the company earned $2.20 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.04 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Sales fell to $3.86 billion from $4.35 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $3.94 billion.


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