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Abbott Laboratories Shares Sink on Mixed Q1; New Dividend Declared

By Eric Volkman - Apr 20, 2021 at 4:07PM

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COVID-testing products helped beef up revenue and profitability.

Few investors like when one of their investments posts a mixed quarter. That seemed to be the dynamic behind Abbott Laboratories (ABT -0.83%) on Tuesday, following the release of its Q1 of fiscal 2021 results.

For the quarter, the pharmaceutical-sector mainstay earned $10.5 billion in revenue, which was over 35% better than in the same period last year. Non-GAAP (adjusted) net income came in at just under $2.37 billion ($1.32 per share) -- more than double the Q1 2020 figure.

Although Abbott didn't hit the average analyst estimate of $10.69 billion on the top line, its per-share adjusted net profit beat the $1.27 forecast by those prognosticators.

Face mask on top of $100 bills.

Image source: Getty Images.

Abbott's double-digit increases were helped by sales of COVID-testing products, which collectively brought in $2.2 billion during the quarter. Zooming out, all four of the company's business units (nutrition, diagnostics, established pharmaceuticals, and medical devices) enjoyed sales increases, ranging widely from established pharmaceuticals' 2.5% to the nearly 120% of diagnostics.

This is giving Abbott the confidence to predict robust adjusted earnings growth for the full year. The company reiterated its guidance for at least $5 per share in 2021, well up from the previous-year's $3.65. Revenue guidance wasn't provided.

As for one of the company's most attractive features as a stock -- its long-standing quarterly dividend -- a new payout has been declared. The upcoming dividend of $0.45 per share will be paid on May 17 to stockholders of record as of April 15. At the most recent closing share price, it yields 1.5%.

Abbott stock closed 3.6% lower on Tuesday, a steeper fall than the 0.7% decline of the S&P 500 index.

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