NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AbbVie (ABBV) - Get Report were higher in late afternoon trading on Thursday as the company prepares to report results for the 2016 third quarter before Friday's opening bell.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet are looking for the North Chicago-based biopharmaceutical company to post adjusted earnings of $1.20 per share on revenue of $6.56 billion.

In the same period last year, AbbVie reported adjusted earnings of $1.13 per share on revenue of $5.94 billion.

Leerink recently initiated the stock with a "market perform" rating and $70 price target.

"Our initiation is based on a generally positive view of the company's current business and near term prospects, but reflects significant uncertainty about the durability of its dominant franchise, Humira," the firm said.

Leerink added that AbbVie's Humira drug for arthritis faces "well known challenges" from competitors, including branded and biosimilar versions.

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"But we generally expect revenue to continue to grow through the end of the decade, notwithstanding many heart stopping moments and real and imaginary challenges from competitors via the courts, the patent office and the marketplace," the firm noted.

(AbbVie is held in David Peltier's Dividend Stock Advisor portfolio. See all of his holdings with a free trial.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABBV

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