Drug, nutrition product sales power Abbott’s revenue beat

(Reuters) – Medical device maker Abbott Laboratories Inc (ABT.N) beat quarterly sales estimates on Wednesday, benefiting from higher demand for its nutrition products and generic drug sales.

FILE PHOTO: Boxes of Abbott’s heart stents are pictured inside a store at a hospital in New Delhi, India, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Shares of the company rose 2.5% to $92.01, after gaining 20% in 2019.

JP Morgan analyst Robbie Marcus called the results positive and said he expected 2020 to be another year of “top-tier growth” for Abbott, driven by strength from its glucose monitoring device, FreeStyle Libre, and its pipeline of heart devices.

Abbott’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Ford, a key person behind Libre’s growth, will replace long-time Chief Executive Miles White in March and is expected to prioritize sales of the glucose monitoring device and MitraClip, a device used to repair leaky heart valves.

In the reported quarter, the company’s largest unit of medical devices brought in revenue of $3.20 billion, just meeting estimates.

Sales of FreeStyle Libre, which helps diabetics track blood sugar levels without having to prick their fingers, rose 58.5% to $534 million. The device was launched in Europe in 2014 and in the United States three years later.

The nutrition unit, which sells products such as rehydration drink Pedialyte and children’s protein shake PediaSure, brought in revenue of $1.87 billion, beating consensus estimates of $1.83 billion.

Abbott’s generics unit, which caters to emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil, brought in sales of $1.17 billion, slightly ahead of estimates of $1.16 billion.

The company said it expects 2020 full-year adjusted earnings from continuing operations between $3.55 and $3.65 per share.

Overall sales rose 7% to $8.31 billion in the fourth quarter, beating estimates of $8.26 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net earnings rose to $1.05 billion, or 59 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $654 million, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Abbott earned 95 cents per share, in-line with the average analyst estimate.

Reporting by Trisha Roy and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

Leave a Reply