Don't worry, you'll only feel a slight prick if Becton, Dickinson (BD) is at work. The company's BD Medical segment is one of the top global manufacturers of syringes and other injection and infusion devices. BD Medical also makes IV catheters and syringes, prefillable drug delivery systems, self-injection devices for diabetes patients, and related supplies such as anesthesia trays and sharps disposal systems. The BD Diagnostics segment offers tools for collecting specimens and the equipment and reagents to detect diseases in them. Finally, BD caters to researchers through its BD Biosciences unit, which makes reagents, antibodies, cell imaging systems, and labware used in basic and clinical research.
BD has manufacturing, marketing, and warehousing operations all over the world. Though the company has increased international sales, especially emerging markets, where its main products include various types of needles, syringes, and diagnostic systems, the US remains its largest market segment accounting for more than 40% of sales.
The company's largest operating segment is the BD Medical division, which accounts for more than half of annual revenues.
Sales and Marketing
Its customers include entities in health care, drug development, medical research, clinical labs, and retail fields. It uses a direct sales force and independent representatives to market and distribute its products in the US and abroad.
While overall revenues for BD continued to grow in 2011, rising some 6% to $7.8 billion, net income growth decreased that year by nearly 4% to $1.3 billion. The drop in profits was attributed to rough economic conditions that have created pricing pressures, increased raw material costs, lower levels of health care spending, especially in the US and European markets.
Sales of safety devices have grown to account for about $1.9 billion annually, with particularly strong growth in international markets, and contributing to a 6% increase in BD Medical's revenues in 2011. Other areas contributing to BD Medical's rising revenue levels include increased sales of prefilled syringes and diabetic pen needles.
Due to increased sales of safety-engineered blood collection equipment and automated diagnostic platforms, the BD Diagnostics division also expanded sales by 7% during 2011.
The BD Biosciences' Cell Analysis segment was the primary contributor towards a 7% revenue increase for BD Biosciences in 2011, resulting from sales of products including flow cytometry (cell sorting) systems, monoclonal antibodies (single-source proteins) and kits for cellular analysis, and cell culture media.
BD has enjoyed a period of growth and seeks to extend that run by continuing to expand international operations, investing in R&D, and focusing its efforts on its core medical technology segments.
Through the BD Medical unit, BD has been cashing in on the increased emphasis on safety in health care delivery by introducing a number of safety-engineered devices that prevent accidental needlesticks, and thus exposure to infected blood. BD Diagnostics is doing the same, growing through sales of its safety-engineered blood collection equipment, including the BD Vacutainer system. BD Diagnostics has further broadened its offerings by developing tests that detect (and reduce the increasingly prevalent spread of) infections acquired as the result of a hospital stay, as well as to detect STDs and cancers.
To focus its attention and resources on acquisitions and instrumentation products within its faster growing Cell Analysis division, BD sold its BD Biosciences' Discovery Labware unit (excluding its advanced bioprocessing platform) to Corning for $720 million in cash in November 2012. The unit makes pipettes, tubes, and other basic equipment used in labs.
BD made another move to streamline its operations in the medical division in late 2010 when it sold its ophthalmic systems unit, as well as certain surgical blade, critical care (blood pressure) monitoring, and arterial catheter products, to private equity firm RoundTable Healthcare Partners for some $270 million. The divestiture aimed to focus BD Medical's operations on its parenteral (injectable and IV) medication delivery products.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2012 BD Diagnostics added automated microbiology lab technology with its purchase of Netherlands-based KIESTRA Lab Automation BV.
In 2011 the BD Medical unit expanded its safety offerings through the $287 million purchase of Sweden's Carmel Pharma, which manufactures a device to safely handle vials of hazardous drugs used in cancer chemotherapy. And in 2012 it purchased Safety Syringes, a private manufacturer of anti-needlestick devices for prefilled syringes, for an undisclosed price.
The company has also expanded the Biosciences segment through acquisitions, including the $205 million purchase of flow cytometry firm Accuri Cytometers in 2011. – less