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AbbVie begins its business life on Jan. 2

Abbott Laboratories located 1400 block Sheridan Road  North Chicago.  | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

Abbott Laboratories located in the 1400 block of Sheridan Road North Chicago. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 29, 2012 5:09PM

For Abbott Laboratories stockholders the new year brings something new to their portfolio: AbbVie Inc.

Stockholders also will receive a combined dividend slightly higher than the old Abbott stock alone, a company spokeswoman said Friday. The new company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as ticker symbol ABBV.

Abbott will complete its split into two separate companies Jan. 1.

The new AbbVie, which will launch the next day, will sell Abbott’s proprietary drugs and is forecast to have 2013 sales of more than $18 billion.

The other company, which will retain the Abbott name, will sell generic medicines, diagnostic tests and nutritional products. It is forecast to have 2013 sales of roughly $23 billion.

So far, the physical separation is still ongoing with only one AbbVie sign under construction at the visitor’s center on the Route 43 Abbott Park corporate campus, according to spokeswoman Adelle Infante.

She said AbbVie will have a North Chicago address and Abbott will use the Abbott Park address. It hasn’t been determined which buildings would sport the new logo.

Mark Geraci Jr., a financial adviser for Sound Strategy Estate & Retirement Specialists in Round Lake Beach, is excited about the new company. “It’s an exciting time to be an Abbott shareholder,” said Geraci, who works closely with many local Abbott employees, retirees and shareholders. “While near-term volatility is expected, a recent poll of clients revealed that none were planning to sell any of their shares.”

The board of directors for Abbott announced in November final approval of the separation of its research-based pharmaceuticals business into AbbVie, which will have a broad portfolio of medicines in immunology, virology and a pipeline of breakthrough therapies.

Abbott continues with its varied offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals with the ticker symbol ABT.

Stockholders of Abbott will receive one share of AbbVie for every Abbott share. They do not have to do anything.

Abbott has received a private ruling from the Internal Revenue Service for U.S. federal income tax purposes that the distribution of AbbVie common stock is tax-free to U.S. holders of Abbott common stock. However, cash received in lieu of fractional shares may be taxable.

This month the board of directors of Abbott declared its 356th consecutive quarterly cash dividend. The quarterly dividend is 14 cents per share, payable Feb. 15, 2013, to shareholders of record of Jan. 15, 2013.

The management of AbbVie intends to recommend a cash dividend, subject to AbbVie board approval, of 40 cents per share, the spokeswoman said.

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