Abbott Labs Beats as Sales Leap

Shares in Abbott Laboratories ( ABT ) edged higher Thursday after the health care products company reported a 14% jump in revenue and beat analysts' earnings expectations in the first quarter.

The Illinois-based company had net income of $822.9 million, or 52 cents a share, vs. $801 million, or 51 cents a share, a year ago.Excluding items, profit was $896.4 million, or 57 cents a share. Analysts expected the company to earn 56 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

First quarter net income was affected by the planned spinoff of Hospira and acquisitions, including TheraSense.

Revenue in the quarter hit $5.21 billion, up 13.9% from $4.58 in the year-ago period with the weak dollar adding about 5%. U.S. drug sales rose 24.4% with strong growth across virtually all branded products, the company said. Sales in its medical products group grew 9.2%.

Abbott shares rose 45 cents, or 1%, to $43.20.

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