Abbott Shares Decline After Third-Quarter Sales Miss Analyst Estimates

Abbott Laboratories, a maker of drugs and medical devices, fell after it reported third-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates.

The shares dropped 45 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $52.42 at 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The Abbott Park, Illinois-based company today said net income declined 40 percent to $891 million, or 57 cents a share, because of costs for its purchase of Solvay SA’s drug unit.

Sales increased 12 percent to $8.68 billion, missing the $8.92 billion average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue was less than analysts projected because Abbott recalled its Similac baby formula in September, said Rick Wise, an analyst with Leerink Swann & Co.

“Sales were light, $215 million below our estimate, the miss was largely a result of the September Similac recall, which Abbott had previously indicated would be a $100 million hit to the top line,” Wise said in a research report today.

Worldwide nutritional sales fell 1.5 percent to $1.37 billion, the company said. Pharmaceutical sales increased 22 percent to $4.94 billion.

Profit excluding some items was $1.05 a share, beating the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg by 1 cent,

The company today also raised the lower end of its 2010 forecast. Abbott said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings in the range of $4.16 to $4.18, up from its Sept. 22 forecast of $4.13 to $4.18.

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