Abbott Drops as Earnings Forecast Falls Short on Strong Dollar

  • Sales fell 3.1% last quarter, hit by the foreign exchange
  • Shares decline as much as 8.8% to lowest since April 2014

Abbott Laboratories fell to the lowest since April 2014 after the largest maker of heart stents gave a first-quarter profit forecast range that trailed analysts’ estimates, citing the impact of the stronger dollar and its struggling Venezuelan business.

Profit is expected to be 38 cents to 40 cents a share in the current quarter, excluding items, Abbott said in a statement Thursday, falling short of the 47-cent average projection compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales fell 3.1 percent last quarter, dropping for the fifth consecutive period amid what Chief Executive Officer Miles D. White called “a challenging currency environment.” The company makes more than two-thirds of its revenue abroad.

The shares dropped 8.8 percent to $36.93 at 10:20 a.m. in New York.

Fourth-quarter profit topped estimates by 1 cent. Earnings were 62 cents last quarter, while analysts anticipated 61 cents.

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