Abbott Labs Earnings: Booking a Profit Again

Falling revenue did not prevent S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from reporting a profit boost in the third quarter. Abbott Laboratories is a pharmaceuticals health care company, whose main line of business is in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of a broad range of health care products. Its customers include wholesalers, hospitals and commercial laboratories.

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Abbott Laboratories Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for Abbott Laboratories rose to $1.94 billion ($1.21 per share) vs. $303.2 million (19 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a substantial increase from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 0.4% to $9.77 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Abbott Laboratories fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $1.27 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $9.84 billion.

Quoting Management: “Abbott delivered another quarter of strong results with ongoing earnings per share up more than 10 percent, despite a challenging global economy,” said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. “There were several product launches across pharmaceuticals, vascular and diagnostics, which will contribute to future growth. In addition, we remain on track to separate into two leading health care companies on January 1, 2013.”

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter breaks a four-quarter streak of revenue increases. The best quarter in that span was the third quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw revenue rise 13.2%.

After beating analyst estimates for the two previous quarters, the company fell short of forecasts. In the second quarter, it topped the mark by one cent, and in the first quarter, it was ahead by 3 cents.

Net income has increased more than twofold year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the most recent quarter, when income climbed more than sixfold from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the fourth quarter has moved down from $1.54 a share to $1.52 over the last sixty days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is now $5.05 per share, down from $5.06 sixty days ago.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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