Becton Dickinson & Co. reported Thursday fiscal second-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations, boosted by $480 million in COVID-19 testing sales, and announced plans to separate its Diabetes Care business into an independent publicly traded company. The medical technology company’s stock was still inactive in premarket trading. Net income for the quarter to March 31 rose to $277 million, or 95 cents a share, from $145 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as purchase accounting adjustments and European regulatory initiative related costs, adjusted earnings per share came to $3.19, above the FactSet consensus of $3.04. Revenue grew 15.4% to $4.91 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $4.89 billion, as medical revenue rose 1.7% and life sciences revenue increased 10.4% while interventional revenue fell 3.9%. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS growth of 24% to 25%, while the FactSet consensus of $12.86 implies 26.1% growth. Separately, the company said it expects the spinoff to occur through a distribution of stock in the new company to its shareholders, with the deal expected to be completed in the first half of 2022. The stock has lost 1.9% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.2%.

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