Abbott Labs’ Stock at 52-Week High
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) _ Third-quarter operating income at Abbott Laboratories jumped 11 percent, buoyed by a continuing turnaround in its now-thriving U.S. pharmaceuticals business.
The results met analysts’ expectations.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, Abbott earned $654.4 million, or 42 cents per share. In the year-ago period, Abbott earned $468.1 million or 30 cents per share, including a one-time charge due to a government consent decree; excluding the charge, Abbott earned $589.1 million, or 38 cents a share.
Wall Street analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting 42 cents per share.
Worldwide sales were $3.32 billion for the quarter, up 6 percent from $3.14 billion a year earlier.
The company cited strong results in its U.S. hospital business and its TAP pharmaceutical firm, which is jointly owned with Japan’s Takeda Chemical Industries and has enjoyed rising sales of the ulcer drug Prevacid.
U.S. pharmaceutical sales, which represent about a fifth of Abbott’s revenues, jumped 15 percent to $649 million for the third quarter as the health care and drug-manufacturing firm benefited from five new products launched in 2000.
Company executives said in a conference call that they also anticipate double-digit growth in U.S. pharmaceuticals in the fourth quarter and 2001. Their optimism results in part from a bright outlook for its Kaletra AIDS pill, which won federal approval last month.
``Our third quarter was highlighted by the launch of one of the most medically significant products ever discovered and developed by Abbott scientists,″ said Miles White, chairman and chief executive officer, referring to Kaletra.
Abbott shares, which already had rebounded 31 percent this year after losing half their value in the second half of 1999, rose $1.25 to $48.94 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange after hitting a 52-week high of $49.13.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Abbott earned $2.03 billion, or $1.30 per share, up from $1.78 billion, or $1.14 per share. The results also include a charge of $168.1 million in the year-ago period for a fine due to violations of federal quality rules on diagnostic products dating to 1993.
For the first nine months of 2000, sales increased to $10.04 billion from $9.71 billion _ an increase of 3 percent.
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