Only a guess (can't read the minds of management), but I doubt that Abbott would really be eager to merge with another major. A more likely scenario is -- if the pipeline really is that thin -- to make a move on some of the late stage biotechs: buy a basket of them relatively cheap and use marketing prowess (?) to off-set the lack of block-buster drugs. And if a merger with another big player does get attractive, why a drug house? Another one of the medical suppliers might be a better fit. Any thoughts out there on the latter possibility?