Abbott Meets Profit Target

The company says second-quarter earnings should be in line with estimates.
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Abbott Laboratories

(ABT) - Get Report

said its first-quarter sales declined 3.7% from a year ago, but earnings were in line with the drug and device maker's previous guidance.

Worldwide sales totaled $5.18 billion, down from $5.38 billion in the same quarter of 2005, the company said Wednesday. Factoring out an amendment to a distribution pact with Boehringer Ingelheim, sales would have increased by 5.2%.

Abbott earned $864.9 million, or 56 cents a share, up from $837.9 million and 53 cents a share last year. Before certain items but including stock-compensation expenses, the company would have earned 57 cents, meeting its own estimate of 56 cents to 58 cents and the Wall Street consensus.

"We achieved our performance expectations for the quarter," said Miles D. White, the chairman and chief executive of Abbott. "Our market-leading products and businesses delivered strong results, led by double-digit growth in medical products. In addition, we made significant progress during the quarter to advance our broad-based business strategy with the agreement to acquire



vascular business."

Abbott's full-year adjusted earnings forecast, including the effect of stock compensation expenses, remains unchanged at $2.51 to $2.57. The Abbott Park, Ill., company is projecting second-quarter profits of 59 cents to 61 cents a share.

The outlook doesn't include the estimated impact of the Guidant transaction. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are looking for second-quarter earnings of 60 cents and a full-year profit of $2.52.

Shares of Abbott slipped 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $41.60 in premarket trading.