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Abbott earnings drop 35 percent in 4Q

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Updated: April 15, 2013 7:00AM

Abbott Laboratories’ earnings dropped 35 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as it absorbed costs related to its spin-off of AbbVie, but profit and its 2013 forecast beat Wall Street expectations.

North Chicago-based Abbott earned $1.05 billion, or 66 cents per share, down from $1.62 billion, or $1.02 a share, the company said Wednesday.

Abbott completed its spinoff of its proprietary drug business New Year’s Day, retaining its nutritional products, medical devices, diagnostic tests and branded generic pharmaceuticals businesses.

Excluding special items, Abbott earned $2.4 billion, or $1.51 per share, a penny more than Wall Street consensus estimates and up from $2.3 billion, or $1.45 per share.

Net sales were $10.8 billion, up 4.4 percent from $10.4 billion.

Abbott said sales of proprietary pharmaceuticals rose 7 percent to $5.1 billion. Nutritional sales rose 10.8 percent to $1.7 billion, with sales in emerging markets rising double digits. Sales of core laboratory diagnostics rose 4.8 percent to $908 million, and vascular sales rose 5.7 percent to $760 million.

Abbott said it expects its full-year 2013 earnings to be $1.98 per share to $2.04 per share. Thomson First Call had expected $1.95 per share. Abbott forecast special items of roughly 59 cents per share, including separation costs, cost-cutting initiatives and other expenses. Including those net specified items, it forecast earnings per share of $1.39 to $1.45.

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