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Abbott Labs Hits Mark on Fourth-Quarter Earnings, Boosts Guidance

Abbott Laboratories posts fourth-quarter earnings and sales in line with Wall Street forecasts, and lifts guidance.

Medical device maker Abbott Laboratories  (ABT) - Get Abbott Laboratories Report posted fourth-quarter earnings that were largely in line with Wall Street forecasts and raised its first-quarter and full-year profit forecasts amid strong demand for its diabetes monitoring devices.

Abbott said Wednesday that earnings for the three months ended in September came in at $1.05 billion, or 95 cents a share, vs. $654 million, or 81 cents, in the same period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of 95 cents a share. 

Revenue came in at $8.3 billion, slightly ahead of consensus forecasts of $8.27 billion.

Medical devices sales increased 9.7%, led by double-digit organic sales growth in heart failure, electrophysiology, structural heart and diabetes care, the company said. Established pharmaceuticals sales increased 7.8%, led by growth across in Latin America and Asia. Core laboratory diagnostics sales increased 8.4%.

"Our focus on organic growth is driving top-tier performance," CEO Miles White said in a statement. "We're entering 2020 with very good momentum and targeting continued strong growth."

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The company, which makes glucose-detecting technology and equipment including the popular FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system, said it expects adjusted per-share earnings of between $3.55 and $3.65 in 2020.

For the first quarter, the company is expecting adjusted earnings from continuing operations of between 69 cents and 71 cents a share.

For the full 2019 year, Abbott said it earned $3.69 billion, or $3.24 a share, vs. $2.34 billion, or $2.88 a share, in 2018. Sales came in at $31.9 billion vs. $30.6 billion.

Shares of Abbott were up 1.24%, or $1.11 a share, at $90.84 in morning trading on Wednesday. 

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