Attention all health-care investors: There's a blue-light special in aisle three. That's where you'll find Abbott Labs
Sure, Abbott isn't firing on all cylinders the way it was last year, but things still look fine. Sales fell less than 1%, but were up 5.4%, excluding the impact of the strengthening dollar. The rate of growth from top seller Humira, has begun to slow, but still increased nearly 17% year over year thanks to international expansion. That's better than the 3% global increase in sales Johnson & Johnson
The company's new drug-eluting stent, Xience V, has continued to perform well. Sales of stents -- the plain-vanilla and the drug-oozing kind -- more than doubled, as Xience V and its twin brother, Boston Scientific's
Even with the overall decrease in sales, Abbott was able to increase earnings per share by 16% after adjusting for one-time items like its gain this quarter from the dissolution of TAP Pharmaceutical, its joint venture with Takeda that's all tapped out. As long as Abbott can continue to meet its guidance, investors should eventually be rewarded with the kinds of share prices and multiples that the stock was able to garner last year.
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