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Today's Top Health Care Headlines: AbbVie and GlaxoSmithKline

Let's take a look at today's top stories in biotech and health care. Keep an eye out for AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV  ) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK  ) . 

AbbVie tops estimates in the second quarter
AbbVie released its second-quarter results this morning, posting an Adjusted EPS of $0.82 on $4.926 billion in revenue. By contrast, Wall Street was expecting an Adjusted EPS of $0.76 on $4.7 billion in revenue.

This earnings beat was driven primarily by a nice bump in Humira sales, which increased by a noteworthy 26.2% to $3.3 billion on a global basis, compared to the same period a year ago. The company also saw decent sales growth for Synthroid, Sevoflurane and Duodopa in the quarter. 

AbbVie didn't, however, provide much in the way of an updated guidance that reflects the acquisition of Shire. My take is that the impact of this acquisition is still being assessed given that the deal was only announced last week.

Nevertheless, this merger is a game-changer that investors should closely following moving forward. The tax consequences alone should make an immediate impact on AbbVie's bottom line. Moreover, Shire recently posted yet another strong quarter in terms of growing product sales, which will likely translate to better top-line growth for AbbVie in the near future.

More bribery allegations for GlaxoSmithKline
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline are falling today after news broke that the company is facing additional bribery allegations--this time in Syria. Last week, Glaxo reportedly informed its compliance department that a whistleblower emailed the company alleging that employees in Syria were offering bribes to increase sales for its consumer health products.  

What's key to understand is this is another company where Glaxo employees have been accused of bribery in an attempt to boost sales. The Department of Justice in the U.S. and the U.K. Serious Fraud Office reportedly have opened investigations into the company, with a keen interest in understanding whether a "pattern of corruption" exists. If so, we could see Glaxo get hit with yet another record fine. 

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George Budwell

George Budwell has been writing about healthcare and biotechnology companies at the Motley Fool since 2013. His primary interests are novel small molecule drugs, next generation vaccines, and cell therapies.

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