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$16 billion medical supply firm
Becton Dickinson (BDX - Get Report), one of the
highest-yielding health services stocks, hiked its dividend by 9.76% last week, bringing its quarterly payout to 45 cents per share. The firm develops, complex high-margin medical equipment, including oncology and pathology diagnostic devices, but the its bread and butter is in basic surgical instruments such as needles, syringes and scalpels.
The firm's exposure to staid (even boring) surgical instruments has given Becton some protection from economic conditions in the past, something that can't be said for peers who only develop high-tech, hit-or-miss medical devices. Double-digit margins and ample balance sheet liquidity should keep this firm returning value to shareholders in the form of cash dividends.
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-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.