Diversified health care giant Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) might have shed its branded drugs division last year, but this stock lived up to investor expectations during 2013's monster market rally. With its reach across medical devices, generic drugs, and more, Abbott's a steady foundation stock for nearly any portfolio -- and there's reason to believe this pick could soar in the new year, as well.

What's going right for Abbott? The company's nutritionals division, its largest business unit by sales, has taken over as the firm's growth driver in the wake of its spinoff of its branded pharmaceuticals business. The division's 6.2% sales growth over the first nine months of 2013 has been a boon for investors, but with other units such as diagnostics picking up momentum, nutritionals are hardly Abbott's lone strength.

What should you watch at Abbott in the new year? Find out in the video below, as Motley Fool contributor Dan Carroll takes you through three big reasons to buy into the optimism surrounding Abbott -- and how a few major tailwinds could propel this standout stock to investor glory in 2014.

The one stock you can't overlook in the new year
Abbott's looking strong in the new year, but it's not the only stock you need to keep your eye on as 2014 gets under way. Don't miss out on what could be one of the biggest investor opportunities in the new year: The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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