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Abbott Job Cuts Spare MDx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott plans to lay off around 700 employees as part of an ongoing restructuring, and though a couple hundred of those job cuts will come from its diagnostics business its molecular diagnostics operations will be spared, a company spokesman told GenomeWeb Daily News on Wednesday.

News of the layoffs was first reported by the Associated Press following Abbott's release of its fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2011 financial results. Though Abbott didn't mention the cuts on its conference call Wednesday, its financial statement noted a $332 million pre-tax charge for "restructuring/integration/other."

Most of the layoffs will affect employees that manufacture vascular stents in Temecula, Calif., as well as some employees in the firm's core diagnostics business in Illinois, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, the spokesman said. He added that the cuts in the diagnostics business are a continuation of a restructuring plan begun in 2008.

Earlier Wednesday Abbott reported a 4 percent increase in its fourth-quarter revenues with profit growth of around 13 percent. Its molecular diagnostics sales rose 11 percent year over year.

Shares of Abbott closed down around 1 percent at $55.23 in Wednesday trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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