health careAbbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) reported second-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The drugmaker reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.46 on revenues of $5.45 billion. In the same period last year, Abbott reported EPS of $0.43 and revenues of $5.31 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.44 and $5.52 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, Abbott posted EPS of $0.30, which excludes $278 million ($0.17 a share) in charges for certain expenses.

Abbott confirmed its full-year adjusted EPS guidance of $1.98 to $2.04, in line with the consensus estimate of $2.01.

On the revenue side, Abbott said that, excluding the effects of currency exchange rates, the company's revenues rose by 4.2%. Including exchange rate effects, revenues rose by just 1.7%. U.S. sales fell by 2.8%, which was better than the 3.3% slide in the first quarter, and U.S. sales in the medical devices group fell by 5.7%, substantially better than last quarter's 12.7% slide. U.S. sales also slipped in the nutrition group, down 3.1% compared to a 2.1% gain in the first quarter. Only the diagnostics segment showed a revenue increase, up 3.4%, better than the 2.9% rise posted in the first quarter.

The company's CEO said:

All things considered, including headwinds from foreign exchange and a mixed global economy, this was a good quarter.

That is called damning with faint praise. The revenue shortfall has to be a concern for Abbott, especially the continuing decline in U.S. sales.

The company also noted that second-quarter adjusted gross margin was welcome surprise at 55%. On a GAAP basis, gross margin totaled 49.7%.

Shares of Abbott are trading up 0.2% in the premarket this morning, at $35.70 in a 52-week range of $31.64 to $72.47. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $40.60 before today's report.


Filed under: Healthcare (Business) Tagged: ABT

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