Abbott Laboratories beats Wall Street estimates in the fourth quarter

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
January 27, 2021
  • Abbott Laboratories beats Wall Street estimates in the fourth quarter.
  • The U.S. firm's rapid diagnostics sales jump 333% in fiscal Q4.
  • Abbott expects at least £3.65 of adjusted per-share earnings in fiscal 2021.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) published its earnings report for the fiscal fourth quarter on Wednesday that came in better than what analysts had anticipated. The company attributed its hawkish performance to robust demand for its COVID-19 tests amidst the pandemic that has so far infected more than 26 million people in the United States and caused over 435 thousand deaths.

Abbott shares were reported more than 0.5% up in premarket trading on Tuesday. The U.S. firm now has a per-share price of £84.57 versus £45.80 per share in the last week of March 2020. The price action should come in handy if you’re interested in investing in the stock market.

Abbott’s Q4 financial results versus analysts’ estimates

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Abbott said that its near earnings in the fourth quarter printed at £1.53 billion that translates to 87 pence per share. In the same quarter last year, its net earnings were capped at a much lower £730 million or 43 pence per share.

On an adjusted basis, the U.S. firm earned £1.06 per share in the recent quarter. Abbott said that it generated £7.80 billion of sales in Q4 versus the year-ago figure of a lower £6.05 billion. In the prior quarter (Q3), the medical devices firm had seen a 9.6% annualised increase in sales, as per the report published in October 2020.

According to FactSet, experts had forecast the American multinational to record £7.22 billion of sales in the fourth quarter. Their estimate for per-share earnings stood at a lower 98 pence. In separate news from the U.S. health care industry, Merck & Co said earlier this week that it had ended its COVID-19 vaccine programme as its candidate drugs failed to invoke significant immune responses.

Abbott Laboratories’ guidance for fiscal 2021

Other prominent figures in Abbott’s earnings report on Wednesday include £1.75 billion of sales from rapid diagnostics that represents a massive 333% annualised increase. This was primarily attributed to the health care company’s COVID-19 tests that remained in demand amidst the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in recent months.  

For fiscal 2021, the Chicago-based company now forecasts a minimum of £3.65 of adjusted per-share earnings.

Abbott Laboratories performed fairly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of more than 25%. At the time of writing, it is valued at around £148 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 60.53.