Drugmaker AbbVie (ABBV) - Get Report on Friday posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and nudged its guidance for the final three months of the year slightly higher, even as sales of its top-selling arthritis drug Humira rang in lower than anticipated. 

The Chicago-based company posted third-quarter earnings of $1.88 billion, or $2.33 an adjusted share, vs. $2.75 billion, or $2.14 an adjusted share, in the comparable year-earlier period. Revenue came in at $8.48 billion, up from $8.24 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $2.30 a share on sales of $8.38 billion.

Global Humira sales were $3.89 billion, below the $4.86 billion expected by analysts. Sales of its next-highest selling drug Imbruvica rang in at $1.26 billion, above the $1.19 billion expected by analysts.

"Clearly AbbVie has a concentrated portfolio at the moment, but that all changes once the Allergan (AGN) - Get Report acquisition goes through," Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts Plus team noted in a pre-earnings note on Abbvie.

AbbVie in June unveiled plans for a $63 billion acquisition of Allergan (AGN) - Get Report , a deal that will give it a new revenue stream in the wrinkle-smoothing drug Botox to cover an expected decline in revenue from its arthritis drug Humira, which is poised to lose its patent protection.

"We think the closing of the Allergan transaction and its diversification and cash-flow generating benefits are the real catalysts that could send shares materially higher," the AAP team said. "And as we wait for this to play out, we welcome the collection of a safe, high-yielding dividend."

AbbVie also raised its adjusted guidance for the remainder of 2019 to a range of between $8.90 and $8.92 a share, up from its previous forecasted range of between $8.82 and $8.92 a share. The company also said it will increase its 2020 dividend by 10.3%.

Shares of AbbVie were down 0.29% at $79.32 in morning trading.

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