Abbott Laboratories

(ABT) - Get Report

said Wednesday that fourth-quarter net income fell 18% to $614 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with the fourth quarter last year as the drug and medical equipment maker continued to digest two major acquisitions.

Abbott racked up 13 cents a share in fourth-quarter charges related to the purchase of Knoll Pharmaceuticals and drug test maker Vysis. Excluding those charges, Abbott's fourth-quarter net income totaled $816 million, or 52 cents a share, matching Wall Street consensus expectations as polled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

The company said it expects to earn 54 cents per share in the current quarter on a pro forma basis. That's 1 cent per share below current consensus estimates. Abbott also said it expects 2002 earnings to reach a range of $2.24 to $2.26 per share, in line with consensus estimates of $2.25.

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Fourth-quarter sales totaled $4.4 billion, up 20% from sales of $3.7 billion in the fourth quarter last year.

Abbott's U.S. pharmaceutical sales in the fourth quarter reached $1.1 billion, an increase of 44% over the previous year. But sales of the TAP Pharmaceuticals joint venture with Takeda Chemical fell 2% in the quarter to $936 million.

U.S. hospital product sales in the fourth quarter rose 12% to $761 million; sales in the company's Ross Products division fell 2% to $485 million; and domestic sales of diagnostic equipment rose 2% to $309 million.

For the full year 2001, Abbott said it earned $1.88 per share on a pro forma basis, matching Wall Street estimates. Full-year sales rose 18% to $16.3 billion.

In recent trading, shares of Abbott were down 29 cents, or 0.5%, to $55.48.