Salem Radio Network News Monday, May 16, 2022

Health

Abbott beats profit, sales estimates on strong COVID test demand

(Reuters) -Abbott Laboratories on Wednesday beat quarterly profit and sales estimates, aided by robust sales of COVID-19 test kits due to the spread of the Omicron variant and strong demand for its diagnostics products.

Abbott said it expects $2.5 billion in sales of COVID-19 test kits in the early part of this year. The company will update its test kit estimates on a quarterly basis.

Test makers have grappled with choppy demand in the past few quarters as COVID-19 infections have surged and plateaued in the United States, making it difficult to predict whether demand will hold up for the long term.

Analysts were expecting Abbott to be conservative with its COVID test forecast due to uncertainties around the pandemic.

The Illinois-based company posted $2.3 billion in COVID test sales for the fourth quarter, including $2.1 billion in rapid tests. The overall COVID test numbers were marginally lower than the $2.4 billion it reported a year ago.

The company had previously expected coronavirus test-related sales to be between $1.0 billion and $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter.

Abbott forecast adjusted earnings from continuing operations of at least $4.70 per share for the year, below analysts’ estimates of $4.78.

Shares of the company were down 1.7% before the bell.

Fourth-quarter sales in Abbott’s diagnostics business were $4.47 billion, beating analysts estimate of $3.46 billion.

On an adjusted basis, Abbott earned $1.32 per share, beating estimates of $1.21, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Total sales were $11.5 billion, higher than the $10.7 billion estimated by analysts.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo and Dania Nadeem; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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