Investors will be watching for an update on the recent U.S. launch of Abbott Laboratories' (ABT) - Get Report glucose monitoring system Freestyle Libre when the company unveils results for the opening quarter of 2018 on Wednesday, April 18.
The quarter is the first in which investors will see the initial impact of Freestyle Libre in the U.S., noted Jefferies LLC analyst Raj Denhoy in an interview.
Abbott, an Action Alerts PLUS holding, clinched approval in September from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for FreeStyle Libre. The company in January announced that that the product obtained reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
FreeStyle Libre was launched in Europe in 2014.
Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott is scheduled to release its first-quarter results before the market open on Wednesday.
Analysts expect, on average, adjusted earnings per share of 58 cents on revenue of $7.286 billion, according to Bloomberg.
"Generally, the company is in a pretty nice groove of revenue and earnings growth right now," said Denhoy, who has a buy rating on the stock and a $69 price target.
He pointed to a confluence of products "hitting at the same time." Besides Freestyle Libre, he cited recent launches in diagnostics and several products from St. Jude Medical Inc., a maker of heart-failure devices and technology that was acquired by Abbott in a $33 billion deal completed in January of last year.
Denhoy projected Abbott to post adjusted EPS of 57 cents on revenue of $7.268 billion for the first three months of 2018.
BMO Capital Markets analyst Joanne Wuensch is also upbeat on Abbott heading into earnings. In an April 10 note, Wuensch wrote that Abbott's fourth-quarter 2017 numbers "exceeded even the loftiest expectations, and given the relatively easy comps in the 1H17 we expect an encore for 1Q18."
Wuensch, who has an outperform rating on the stock and a price target of $70, estimated that the company will have EPS of 58 cents on revenue of $7.28 billion.
Shares of Abbott closed at $59.80 on Tuesday, up 0.9%. The stock is up 4.8% year-to-date and up 38.1% over the last 12 months.