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Earnings Preview: Abbott to report 1Q earnings

Mon, 04/18/2011 - 2:17am
The Associated Press

Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories is scheduled to report its first-quarter results before the market opens Wednesday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Wall Street analysts will focus on sales of the company's best-selling product Humira, particularly in light of positive data reported for an experimental drug from competitor Pfizer Inc. Humira is used to treat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and has historically accounted for nearly one-fifth of the company's sales.

WHY IT MATTERS: Last week Pfizer reported positive results for its drug tofacitinib in reducing damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It was the third study of the pill. Some analysts have speculated that the convenience of a pill could lure patients away from Humira, which is injected.

Pfizer is expected to report more data on the drug in May and November. RBC Capital Markets analyst Glenn Novarro said in a note that "if any meaningful safety issues are reported" it could boost Abbott shares. Novarro expects North Chicago-based Abbott to report earnings of 90 cents per share on revenue of $8.9 billion.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings per share of 90 cents on revenue of $8.83 billion.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: In the same period last year, the company reported earnings of 81 cents per share on revenue of $7.7 billion.

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