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Abbott Q4 Dx, MDx Sales Fall on Foreign Currency Effects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Abbott reported on Thursday morning that its fourth quarter diagnostic revenues fell 1 percent year over year while its molecular diagnostics sales dropped 4 percent, both due to unfavorable currency effects.

The Abbott Park, Illinois-based company reported total worldwide revenues of $5.19 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, down 3 percent from $5.36 billion a year ago and short of the Wall Street estimate of $5.23 billion. On an adjusted basis, excluding an 8 percent foreign currency headwind, Q3 sales increased 5 percent.

Abbott's Worldwide Diagnostics sales were $1.22 billion on a reported basis, down 1 percent from the year-ago period due primarily to an unfavorable 8 percent foreign currency effect. On an operational basis, Worldwide Diagnostics sales increased 7 percent.

Within Worldwide Diagnostics, molecular diagnostics sales totaled $126 million, down 4 percent on a reported basis and including a nearly 7 percent foreign currency headwind. On an operational basis, MDx sales grew 3 percent.

The MDx business saw strong growth in infectious disease testing, which remains the company's core focus in MDx. As expected, US growth was impacted by the planned scale-down of the genetics business, Abbott said.

Also within the Diagnostics unit, core laboratory sales fell 2 percent on a reported basis to $969 million, and point of care sales increased 7 percent on a reported basis to $125 million.

In other business units, Nutrition sales decreased a fraction of a percent on a reported basis to $1.80 billion; Established Pharmaceuticals fell 4 percent to $885 million; and Medical Devices shrunk 6 percent to $1.30 billion.

Abbott's Q4 R&D expenses grew 2 percent to $369 million from $361 million, while its SG&A expenses fell a fraction of a percent to $1.66 billion from $1.67 billion.

Abbott's fourth quarter net income was $767 million, or $.51 per share, compared to $905 million, or $.59 per share, in Q4 2014. Excluding special items, Abbott's Q2 EPS was $.62 per share, the same as Q4 2014 and besting analysts' consensus estimate of $.61 per share.

For full-year 2015, Abbott logged total worldwide sales of $20.41 billion, up 1 percent from $20.25 billion in 2014, but short of analysts' consensus estimate of $20.44 billion. Excluding foreign currency headwinds, total worldwide sales grew 9 percent year over year.

Worldwide Diagnostics sales fell 2 percent on a reported basis to $4.65 billion in 2015, but grew 7 percent on an operational basis. Within Diagnostics, molecular diagnostics fell 2 percent on a reported basis to $466 million; core laboratory sales fell 3 percent on to $3.71 billion; and point of care sales grew 10 percent to $473 million.

In other business segments, Nutrition grew a fraction of a percent to $6.98 billion; Established Pharmaceuticals grew 19 percent to $3.72 billion; and Medical Devices fell 7 percent to $5.04 billion.

The company's R&D expenses increased 5 percent to $1.41 billion in 2015, while its SG&S expenses grew 4 percent to $6.79 billion.

Abbott's net profit in 2015 was $4.42 billion, or $2.92 per share, compared to $2.28 billion, or $1.49 per share, in 2014. Excluding special items, EPS was $2.15 per share, on par with analysts' consensus estimate.

The company said that adjusted EPS in 2016, excluding special items, is expected to be between $2.10 and $2.20. For the first quarter of 2015, the company expects adjusted EPS of $0.38 to $0.40.

In early morning Thursday trade on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Abbott were down 9 percent at $36.84.