As long time employee of ABT, let me tell all what happened. During the days of Hillary Care, Abbott managment decided to swim in the mainstream of political correctness. Big dollars were spent to assuage the pharmaceutical antagonists in Washington and the media. Higher incentives for sales people, quality control, and research dollars were eschewed in favor of "corporate outreach" programs and internal "diversity" goals-- political agendas returning nothing to the bottom line. To this day, Abbott employees receive a "multicultural calander" once a year delineating and celebrating holidays appealing only to the far left liberal establishment. Under Duane Burnham "affirmative action" directives weren't grudgingly tolerated--they were embraced. Miles White perpetuates this culture, exacerbating it with his mentality of mergers and aquisitions. In short, Abbott no longer has an identity.
Having said all this, you can all be assured that things will be righted.The FDA is currently an arm of a liberal Washington establishment. If Bush, or some other Republican (I prefer Forbes, gets elected, the regulatory trajectory of government should subside. Until then, I would hold shares or accumlate them if you're a long termer like me.Replacing the current managment with one that has the moxy to make revolutionary changes to our corporate culture will speed up recovery of the stock.