Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Becton Dickinson ( BDX) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Becton Dickinson as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • BDX has 12x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 3.48 mentions/day.
  • BDX has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $160.6 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on BDX:

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment, and diagnostic products worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.6%. BDX has a PE ratio of 28. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Becton Dickinson a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Becton Dickinson has been 998,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Becton Dickinson has a market cap of $31.9 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The stock has a beta of 1.20 and a short float of 2.5% with 4.43 days to cover. Shares are up 10.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Becton Dickinson as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, BDX's share price has jumped by 27.32%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, BDX should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for BECTON DICKINSON & CO is rather high; currently it is at 57.73%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 10.53% is above that of the industry average.
  • BECTON DICKINSON & CO's earnings per share declined by 25.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BECTON DICKINSON & CO increased its bottom line by earning $6.00 versus $4.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.08 versus $6.00).
  • BDX, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 27.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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