Last year was full of ups and downs for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and investors are right to think twice before buying this or any other coronavirus pandemic-fueled stock. Luckily, COVID-19 tests aren't the company's only successful product line right now.
In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Jan. 29, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina and Fool.com writer Cory Renauer discuss Abbott Labs' successful line of constant glucose monitors (CGMs) and its role in the company's future.
Corinne Cardina: Would you say Abbott Labs could be a buy?
Cory Renauer: It is expensive at the moment, but I think it does have what it takes to deliver market-beating gains over the long term. The stock has been trading at about 24 times management's earnings estimates for this year, and the dividend at this price is 1.3% or 1.4%, really low. But even though the company just raised that dividend with a 25% bump. It's been raising its dividend every year since the 18th century, and you can depend on that going up and through your retirement years.
This is a big company with total sales that will probably pass $40 billion this year. It's not easy to push that big needle forward, but the FreeStyle Libre devices for diabetics type 1 and type 2, instead of the finger sticks, it's a device that's wearable. It's fairly comfortable and it speaks to your phone, so it monitors your blood glucose concentrations all day long, and shares that information with your physician if you want it to. These devices are not so much more expensive on the whole because they last for two weeks at a time. They're not so much more expensive than the finger sticks, and there are still millions and millions of people with diabetes that aren't using them yet. Abbott began gaining market share toward the end of last year, and I think it's going to hold it.
Cardina: It's a competitive market with the CGMs. But there is a huge growth runway, they're competing with companies like DexCom for sure. But people tend to really like the FreeStyle Libre, and so that is a good sign.