Thanks to an impressive track record of dividend increases, Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) is a staple in dividend investor portfolios; however, sales growth has been hard to come by for the company following the spin-off of AbbVie in 2013.

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In a bid to jump start that growth, Abbott is combining a slate of slow-growing generic drugs it sells in developed markets with Mylan's (NASDAQ:MYL) generic-drug portfolio. While that deal should yield a faster growth rate in the future, investors are right to wonder whether Abbott is overcoming other challenges that are weighing down results today.

In the following slideshow, you'll learn more about Abbott and key considerations to keep in mind when the company reports its second-quarter earnings on July 16.