This was supposed to be the year that Abbott
After reporting second-quarter financial results yesterday, the failure of half of this plan doesn't appear to be hurting Abbott. Revenue jumped 16% for the quarter as a result of a huge 58% spike in Humira sales, as well as the rapid growth of its vascular division thanks to its acquisition of Guidant last year. The fact that Abbott's $12 billion in sales were split perfectly equally between international and U.S. sales didn't hurt, either, not to mention the falling dollar positively impacting these international sales by 2.7%.
Last month, Abbott announced that it had canceled the $8 billion deal to sell part of the diagnostics division to GE. Like someone forced to accept a Christmas gift they didn't want, Abbott's management repeatedly mentioned on the conference call how "pleased" they were with the performance of the core diagnostics business.
Diagnostic-division sales were up 11% compared to the second quarter last year, but the company didn't specify what portion of that growth came from the diagnostics segment that was supposed to be offloaded to GE.
Abbott has shown a willingness to make smart acquisitions in the past, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more new ones this year -- even absent the cash the GE deal would have generated. Trading at roughly 19 times this year's $2.80-$2.84 in earnings-per-share guidance, shares of Abbott aren't particularly expensive, considering the growth potential for its top compounds and its strong drug pipeline with compounds in development for several blockbuster indications.
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