Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=100877
Story Retrieval Date: 5/23/2013 2:52:35 AM CST
Illinois-based pharmaceuticals company Abbott Laboratories saw profits rise 51 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with the year-earlier period, bolstered by growing sales of its arthritis medication Humira.
As a result, Abbott raised its earnings per share outlook for full-year 2008 to $3.31-$3.33 from $3.24-$3.28 excluding certain items.
Abbott’s net earnings were $1.08 billion, compared with $717 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Earnings per diluted share were 69 cents, or 79 cents excluding special items such as streamlining of manufacturing operations, which beat the analysts' estimate by 2 cents, compared with the year-earlier 67 cents per diluted share.
“We’ve differentiated ourselves from our peers with multiple core growth franchises, significant cash flow and a diversified base of earnings,” said Thomas Freyman, executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Abbott, in a conference call. “We believe we provide a unique blend of both safety and growth in this difficult market environment.”
Humira sales have rapidly grown since the first quarter. Global sales totaled $1.2 billion for Humira, a 50 percent increase from the year-earlier period.
According to a research note released Wednesday by analysts Bruce Nudell, Erik Schneider and associate analyst Abram Becker of UBS, “Abbott’s growth is driven by its large pharmaceuticals division, particularly its anti-inflammatory product Humira, which continues to benefit from its ease of deliverability, strong efficacy, and expanding indications.”
Net sales for the quarter were nearly $7.5 billion, compared with $6.4 billion in the same period last year, a 17.6 percent increase.
Earnings in the nine months ended Sept. 30 were $3.34 billion, or $2.14 per diluted share, compared with $2.4 billion, or $1.54 per diluted share.
Sales were $21.58 billion, a 15 percent increase from $18.69 billion.
Abbott stock dropped 90 cents or 1.64 percent to $53.88.