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Abbott 1Q Profit Rises On One-Time Items

Wed, 04/15/2009 - 4:39am
NEW YORK (AP) — Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday its profit jumped 53 percent in the first quarter due to a payment related to the breakup of a partnership with a Japanese drug company. The North Chicago-based company's revenue slipped about 1 percent and was weaker than analysts expected as the stronger dollar hurt sales overseas, leading to a drop in drug spending. Its shares fell 4 percent in premarket trading. Abbott said it earned $1.44 billion, or 92 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, up from $988 million, or 60 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding a payment from Takeda Pharmaceuticals related to their partnership, along with other items, Abbott said it earned 73 cents per share. That is three cents a share above expectations. The company's sales slipped 1 percent to $6.72 billion from $6.77 billion, and Abbott said foreign exchange rates were worse than expected. Analysts expected higher revenue of $7.06 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Abbott and Takeda ended a 31-year-old partnership a year ago. Takeda is making a series of cash payments to Abbott after the companies split up TAP Pharmaceutical Products, including $505 million after taxes in the first quarter. Sales of Abbott's Humira, which has been approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease and other immune-system disorders, rose 17 percent to $1.02 billion. But overall, drug sales fell 5.7 percent, to $3.63 billion. Nutritional product revenue grew 6.4 percent to $1.18 billion and diagnostic revenue fell 1.8 percent to $816 million. Vascular products revenue jumped 42.7 percent to $645 million as sales of heart stents improved. Abbott maintained its full-year profit forecast of $3.65 to $3.70 per share, and said it expects to earn 80 cents to 82 cents per share in the second quarter, or 87 cents to 89 cents per share excluding one-time items. Analysts expect $3.67 per share for the year, and 88 cents per share in the second quarter, on average. The estimates typically exclude one-time items. In premarket trading, Abbott shares slid $1.94, or 4.3 percent, to $42.77, approaching its 52-week low of $42.62.
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