Topic: Growth Stocks

C.R. BARD INC. $97 – New York symbol BCR

C.R. BARD INC. $97 (New York symbol BCR; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 84.8 million; Market cap: $8.2 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 2.8; Dividend yield: 0.8%; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; makes medical devices in four main areas: vascular products, such as stents and catheters (29% of 2011 sales); oncology products that detect and treat various types of cancer (27%); urology products, such as drainage and incontinence devices (25%); surgical tools (16%); and other medical products (3%).

Bard continues to expand its market share and diversify its product line with acquisitions. In 2011, it spent a total of $622.6 million buying three medical device makers. The company tends to focus on smaller companies with unique products. That cuts the risk of using acquisitions to expand.

Bard also aims to spur its long-term growth by developing new products. It launched over 50 new products in 2011.

Thanks to its new businesses and products, Bard’s revenue in the three months ended March 31, 2012 rose 4.2%, to $730.0 million from $700.3 million a year earlier. If you exclude costs to integrate its recent acquisitions, earnings rose 4.3%, to $139.5 million from $133.7 million. Earnings per share rose at a faster pace of 6.6%, to $1.61 from $1.51, on fewer shares outstanding.

Research spending rose 0.4% in the quarter, to $48.2 million (or 6.6% of revenue) from $48.0 million (or 6.9% of revenue).

The company’s strong balance sheet will let it continue to make acquisitions, and keep buying back shares. Bard’s long-term debt at the end of 2011 was $908.7 million, which is a low 11% of its market cap. It also held cash of $596.4 million, or $7.05 a share.

The stock trades at 14.6 times Bard’s likely 2012 earnings of $6.66 a share. The $0.76 dividend yields 0.8%.

C.R. Bard is a buy.


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