Abbott Labs lowered its adjusted earnings from continuing operations forecast from $5 per share to a range of $4.30 to $4.50 per share, with a current quarter estimate of around $1 per share. Abbott had told investors on April 20 that it was "right on track" with its profit forecasts after posting global COVID testing related sales of $2.2 billion for the first quarter, led by combined sales of $1.8 billion from Abbott's BinaxNow, Panbio and ID Now rapid-testing kits.
Abbott said Tuesday, however, that accelerated vaccine rollouts, changes in CDC guidance and a significant reduction in cases has "fundamentally impacted market demand for COVID-19 testing, particularly for surveillance and screening with rapid testing."
"We've recently seen a rapid decline in COVID-19 testing demand and anticipate this trend will continue, which led us to adjust our full-year guidance," said CEO Robert Ford. "At the same time, excluding COVID-19 tests, our organic base business growth is accelerating, we continue to see improving end-markets and our new product pipeline continues to be highly productive."
Abbott Labs shares were marked 6% lower in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday to change hands at $109.56 each, a move that would erase nearly all of the stock's year-to-date advance.
Abbott posted first quarter earnings of $1.32 per share on April 20, more than double its bottom line from the same period last year and 5 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues rose 35% to $10.46 billion.