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Continued COVID-19 Test Demand Lifts Abbott Q2 Dx Revenues up 33 Percent


NEW YORK – Abbott said on Wednesday that COVID-19 testing demand has continued throughout its second quarter, driving its Diagnostics business revenues up 33 percent year over year.

For the three months ended June 30, the Abbott Park, Illinois-based firm reported overall Q2 revenues of $11.26 billion, up 10 percent from $10.22 billion in Q2 2021, and up 14 percent on an organic basis. The company beat the consensus Wall Street estimate of $10.29 billion.

Excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales, revenues were essentially flat — up 4 percent on an organic basis — and were negatively impacted by a recall and manufacturing shutdown of selected infant formula products in the US. Excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales and US sales associated with the recalled products, total revenues grew 2 percent, or 6 percent on an organic basis.

Abbott reported Diagnostics sales of $4.32 billion compared to $3.25 billion in the prior-year quarter. On an organic basis, Abbott's worldwide Diagnostics sales increased 37 percent.

Within Diagnostics, Core Laboratory Q2 revenues fell nearly 7 percent to $1.22 billion from $1.31 billion in Q2 2021; Molecular revenues decreased 27 percent to $212 million from $290 million in Q2 2021; and Point of Care revenues increased 1 percent to $139 million from $137 million in the prior-year quarter. The firm reported $2.75 billion in Rapid Diagnostics sales, an 82 percent increase from Q2 2021 sales of $1.51 billion.

Global COVID-19 testing sales were $2.3 billion in the second quarter, led by rapid testing platforms, the firm said. Abbott CEO Robert Ford said on a conference call to discuss the financial results that more than 95 percent of COVID-19 testing sales came from the company's rapid diagnostics platforms, including BinaxNow, ID Now, and Panbio.

He noted that the firm is "in regular discussions" with both the US and international governments for surveillance testing needs and to ensure Abbott has the capacity to cope with another COVID-19 surge this winter if it occurs. The firm has "a lot of manufacturing capacity in the US and internationally to help meet testing need," he said.

Excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales, Core Laboratory revenues fell 3 percent and Molecular Diagnostics sales grew 18 percent.

In Abbott's other businesses, Nutrition sales fell 7 percent to $1.95 billion; Established Pharmaceuticals grew 4 percent to $1.22 billion; and Medical Devices grew nearly 3 percent to $3.76 billion.

Abbott reported Q2 net earnings of $2.02 billion, or $1.14 per share, compared to net earnings of $1.19 billion, or $.66 per share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, EPS was $1.43, topping analysts' consensus estimate of $1.12.

For full-year 2022, Abbott raised its guidance, saying it anticipates diluted earnings per share of at least $3.50 and adjusted diluted earnings per share of at least $4.90. Excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales, the firm expects total organic sales growth in the mid- to high-single digits, Abbott CFO Bob Funck said.

That guidance includes expected COVID-19 testing-related sales of $6.1 billion — $5.6 billion through June 2022 and projected sales of $500 million over the next few months. Ford noted that forecasting COVID-19 testing sales has been "challenging" when looking beyond the near term, but that the estimate anticipates a modest amount of testing sales.

Ford also emphasized the difficult macroeconomic conditions affecting the business, such as significant inflation, the strengthening of the US dollar, and healthcare staffing challenges, but said that historically, healthcare has "proven to be pretty resilient" during broader economic downturns. The strength of Abbott's base business and its COVID-19 testing sales led the company to believe it has "enough power here to navigate and push through some of these macro headwinds." 

In Wednesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Abbott were down 2 percent at $107.92.