Abbott Laboratories Q1 Adj. Earnings Beat View; Suspends FY20 Outlook

Medical devices and healthcare company Abbott Laboratories (ABT) on Thursday reported a 16 percent decline in profit for the first quarter from last year as an increase in sales was offset by higher operating costs and expenses, while the year-ago period’s results were boosted by a tax benefit.

However, adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. Looking ahead, Abbott said it is suspending its previously announced financial outlook for fiscal 2020 due to uncertainties regarding the duration and impact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s shares are advancing more than 1 percent in pre-market trading.

The company’s first-quarter net earnings were $564 million or $0.31 per share, down from $672 million or $0.38 per share in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.65 per share, compared to $0.63 per share in the prior-year quarter. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.58 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Net sales for the quarter rose 2.5 percent to $7.73 billion from $7.54 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $7.34 billion.

On an organic basis, worldwide sales for the quarter increased 4.3 percent.

Abbott’s Worldwide Nutrition sales rose 6.3 percent on a reported basis, while Worldwide Diagnostics sales decreased 0.8 percent. Established Pharmaceuticals sales grew 5.2 percent and Worldwide Medical Devices sales increased 1.4 percent.

Abbott recently launched three critical diagnostics tests for COVID-19. These include the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 molecular test, and the Abbott RealTime SARS-CoV-2 molecular test, which runs on Abbott’s m2000 RealTime System located in hospital and reference laboratories.

The Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test is the fastest available molecular point-of-care test delivering results within 13 minutes and positive results in as little as five minutes
Abbott has also launched a serology blood test for the detection of the antibody, IgG, on its lab-based immunoassay testing platforms.

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