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Abbott Beats on Revenue

The company's fourth-quarter EPS performance, however, only meets analysts' expectations.



said Tuesday that fourth-quarter earnings per share matched Wall Street's estimates while revenue slightly exceeded analysts' consensus predictions.

The company said it earned $974.6 million, or 67 cents a share, on revenue of $5.65 billion for the fourth quarter, versus $944.4 million, or 62 cents a share, on revenue of $4.9 billion in the year-ago period. The EPS results exclude one-time items.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for a profit of $1.05 billion, or 67 cents a share, on revenue of $5.39 billion for the fourth quarter, which has been Abbott's strongest.

The diversified medical products company also reiterated its 2005 EPS guidance of $2.47 to $2.53 a share, which fits around the Thomson First Call consensus prediction of $2.51.

In addition, Abbott offered first-quarter EPS guidance of 57 cents to 59 cents, below the consensus of 59 cents.

The company said its 2005 earnings guidance excludes one-time charges as well as the impact of new rules affecting the expensing of stock options that take effect this year.

The 2005 guidance also excludes any potential impact on the repatriation of foreign subsidiary earnings at a reduced tax rate thanks to a law that took effect in October. Abbott hasn't commented on how it will take advantage of the law.

On a GAAP basis, the company said 2005 EPS guidance would be $2.45 to $2.51 and first-quarter EPS guidance would be in the range of 56 cents to 58 cents.

Shares ended at $46.25 Friday.