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Abbott (ABT) 4Q Earnings Beat Estimates; Guides 2013 Above Street

 January 23, 2013 08:40 AM

(By Balaseshan) Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) reported a 34.9 percent drop in quarterly earnings due to loss on extinguishment of debt. Results exceeded Street's expectations, and the drug maker guided its fiscal 2013 ongoing profit above consensus, sending its shares up 1.22% in premarket.

The company's profit for the fourth quarter plunged 34.9 percent to $1.05 billion. On an adjusted basis, earnings rose to $2.42 billion or $1.51 per share from $2.30 billion or $1.45 per share.

Net sales increased 4.4 percent to $10.84 billion. Currency had an unfavorable impact of 1.2 percent during the fourth quarter. Excluding currency impact, net sales would have witnessed close to 5.6 percent upside.

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Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of $1.50 per share on revenue growth of 1.90 percent to $10.58 billion for the fourth quarter.

For the third quarter of 2012, Abbott had adjusted earnings of $1.30 a share on sales of $9.77 billion.

The company's HUMIRA, AndroGel, Synthroid and Pediatric Nutritionals posted a double-digit sales growth, despite a double-digit drop in sales from TRILIPIX/TriCor (fenofibrate) and Kaletra.

The results included a 50 basis points decrease in adjusted gross margin ratio of 63.3 percent, due to the negative impact of foreign exchange of 130 basis points. The gross margin ratio under GAAP was 62.5 percent.

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Looking ahead into the fiscal 2013, the company expects its ongoing earnings of $1.98 to $2.04 per share, while Street analysts predict $1.95 per share. Including specified items, projected EPS under GAAP would be $1.39 to $1.45 for the full-year 2013.

"Abbott's mix of diversified healthcare businesses and pipeline is favorably aligned with key healthcare and emerging market trends, and well positioned to deliver top-tier growth in 2013," said Miles White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott.

On Jan. 1, Abbott completed the launch of AbbVie, a new research-based biopharmaceutical company. Abbott said it launched numerous new products across its diversified businesses in 2012, positioning the company well for future growth.

ABT closed Tuesday's regular session up at $32.90. The stock has been trading between $31.64 and $72.47 for the past 52 weeks.



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