Abbott First-Quarter Profit Beats Estimates on Diagnostic Tests

Abbott Laboratories (ABT), the largest maker of heart stents and adult nutritional beverages, said first-quarter profit beat estimates on rising demand for diagnostic tests and reduced costs.

Profit excluding one-time items of 41 cents a share beat the 36 cent average of 19 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue (BSX) fell to $5.2 billion from $5.38 billion a year earlier, hurt by unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Sales of diagnostic and laboratory tests were the bright spot for Abbott during the quarter, the only division that posted increases.

Net income fell 31 percent to $375 million, or 24 cents a share, from $544.7 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier, the Abbott Park, Illinois-based company said in a statement.

The company confirmed its 2014 earnings forecast excluding one-time items for the year of $2.16 to $2.26.

Abbott rose less than 1 percent to $37.97 yesterday in New York trading. The shares had risen 5.1 percent in the year through yesterday.

The drug business was split off into a new company, AbbVie Inc., based in North Chicago, Illinois, on Jan. 1, 2013. Abbott retained the original company’s medical devices, nutritional products, diagnostic tests and generic drugs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at Angela Zimm

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