Abbott’s fourth-quarter results, 2018 profit forecast beat estimates

An employee walks near an Abbott Laboratories sign at the company's headquarters complex in Abbott Park, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An employee walks near an Abbott Laboratories sign at the company’s headquarters complex in Abbott Park, Illinois.

Abbott Laboratories’ fourth-quarter results as well as 2018 adjusted earnings forecast beat Wall Street estimates as the healthcare company gains via its recent purchase of rivals such as St.Jude Medical as well as Alere.

The company’s shares rose 2.6 percent to $60.75 before the bell on Wednesday.

Sales via Abbott’s medical device business — its largest division — grew 9.6 percent on an operational basis to $2.74 billion inside quarter ending Dec. 31.

The unit includes devices Abbott picked up via its $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical in which was completed last year.

Sales for its diagnostics unit jumped 6.7 percent as well as raked in $1.91 billion, bolstered by the completion of its $5.3 billion Alere buy inside quarter.

Sales in Abbott’s nutrition unit, which had been under pressure due to challenges in China, rose marginally.

“Abbott did not disappoint as well as the fourth-quarter print was impressive across the board,” Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Kumar said in a client note.

The Chicago, Illinois-based company, however, posted a net loss of $828 million, or 48 cents per share, mainly related to a $1.46 billion charge due to the recent U.S. tax overhaul.

Excluding items, Abbott reported a profit of 74 cents per share, a cent higher than the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 42.3 percent to $7.59 billion, beating revenue expectations of $7.39 billion.

The company forecast full-year adjusted profit of $2.80 to $2.0 per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.49 per share.

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