Abbott ( ABT) and St. Jude Medical ( STJ) shares bucked the market's downward trend Wednesday, after reporting third-quarter profit growth on strong drug and medical device sales. Both stocks were posting fractional gains, even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off more than 300 points. Before the market opened, Abbott reported earning $1.08 billion, or 69 cents a share, up from $717 million, or 46 cents a share a year prior. Revenue rose 17.6% to $7.5 billion. Minus special items, the company earned 79 cents a share, surpassing the Thomson Reuters consensus of 77 cents a share, on $7.35 billion. Worldwide pharmaceutical sales increased 16.7%, supported by HIV drugs Humira and Kaletra and cholesterol drugs TriCor and Niaspan. Worldwide medical product sales increased 25.2%, driven by diagnostics and vascular sales and the launch of the Xience V stent. Abbott raised 2008 profit guidance to a range of $3.31 to $3.33, from 3.20 to $3.25 previously. The new guidance surpasses the consensus target of $3.28 a share. Also before the open, St. Jude Medical said that it earned $193 million, or 55 cents a share, vs. $160 million, or 46 cents a share in the year prior period. Including a tax credit, the company would've earned 57 cents a share in the recent quarter. Sales rose 17% to $1.08 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters who were looking for 57 cents a share on $1.07 billion in revenue. Cardiac Rhythm Management sales climbed 15%, atrial fibrillation sales rose 35%, neuromodulation sales rose 25% and cardiovascular sales increased 10%.
St. Jude expects full-year profit in the range of $2.30 to $2.32 a share. Analysts, on average, are looking for $2.31 for the year. After Tuesday's close, Genentech ( DNA) announced product sales above expectations, but said a few charges affected GAAP and non-GAAP EPS by about 13 cents collectively. Adjusted profit rose 11% year over year to $863 million, or 81 cents a. Revenue rose 17% to roughly $3.4 billion. The company garnered upgrades from Citigroup and Cowen and Co. on Wednesday. Shares were up 6. 1%, at $83.96.