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Abbott Laboratories Message Board

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  • former_abbott former_abbott Apr 13, 2000 9:45 AM Flag

    Need ABT employee (off topic)

    While I appreciate your perspective basically
    your are just fueling rumors and heresay. I worked at
    Abbott for 5 years before heading back to get my MBA. It
    is a great company that knows how to make things
    happen. I have some intelligence (one of top 125 CPA exam
    scores in the nation), my wife worked there too (and did
    **quite** well there).

    While there might be problems
    with select employees I guarantee you will find that
    with **any** company. I have **never** heard or
    witnessed a manager at Abbott referring to minorities with
    slurs (and I am white).

    If this company is
    filled with people who are "not on the ball", then why
    is Abbott consistently rated as one of the world's
    best managed companies?

    In terms of personal
    behavior the company was the most conservative place I
    have ever worked for. Sure, people might go to a happy
    hour now and then after work.

    The bottom line
    My wife and I have absolutely NO REGRETS about
    working there. The experience we gained there was
    extremely valuable. I am even considering going back there
    once I get my MBA. I know I won't be disappointed if
    and when I do.

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    • Ahhh, thanks again for the input.
      Best regards, Ope10

    • Please read my other detailed post. Please
      provide a recent reference (1999 or 2000) that Abbott
      with Miles White is "one of the world's best managed
      company's". Abbott was well managed at the top with Mr.
      Burnham in place. I long for the days when I made a
      bundle off the stock.

      • 2 Replies to rongern
      • A lot of people say Abbott was better managed
        under Burnham. There are a lot of things they haven't

        Burnham was a heavy micro manager, along with his comrade
        Tom Hodgson. Their decisions were strictly
        financially driven. Basically they were so conservative that
        the problems the company is having now are because of
        their lack of enthusiasm for investment opportunities.
        They milked the products they had for the time, such
        as Hytrin and Biaxin but did not fight hard enough
        for other new products. Then Biaxin got passed up by
        some new antibiotics that had better usage profiles
        (shorter no. of doses, some cheapter), and Hytrin's patent
        finally expired for good and is getting killed by
        generics. All Hodgson and Burnham tried to do was buy off
        the generic competitors which worked for about a year
        or so. They milked the Ensure adult beverage to the
        point that private label brands started to appear.
        Nothing new to replace the lost sales. Abbokinase is off
        the market due to some mfg. issues wtih the FDA.
        Problem? It's a 20+ year old drug with a mfg. process that
        the FDA is no longer comfortable with. ADD's mfg.
        problems with the FDA are no doubt the result of some
        ancient mfg. techniques that have come about as a result
        of very conservative investments in infrastructure.
        There were some successes, too, such as the
        introduction of Norvir (AIDS drug) but overall you can see
        what was happening.

        See a pattern here?
        Basically Burnham and Hodgson didn't want to make the
        necessary investments. They had something good going but it
        takes more than that. You gotta stay one step ahead of
        the competition not just look back at once-was. As a
        result Abt has been passed up or gotten into trouble on
        a lot of major fronts.

        Miles White took over
        in 1999. He has signed a great many deals, options
        on new compounds, etc. You can't expect immediate
        paybacks on those things. He is trying to catch up with
        the company being behind the curve in the investment
        frontier. It will catch up. He might be paying too much for
        these opportunities, who knows.

        But don't look
        back at Burnham and Hodgson and say that they knew how
        to manage things. Their approach was a classic short
        term strategy which has run its course--it was time
        for something new. Everyone at Abbott knew it was
        time for Burnham and Hodgson to go. At least they had
        the fortitude to put together an orderly succession

        One other thing--as far as employee relations the
        climate has been much better under Miles White compared
        to Burnham & Co. This is a mild surprise since White
        was considered such a competititive figure.

        the way, don't forget that nearly every major
        healthcare stock got burned pretty badly in 1999. There's a
        lot of sector rotation issues going on that helps
        explain the share price.

      • Your string of posts show a very unhappy
        shareholder - why not just sell? I love buying at lower
        prices. Or is it that you can't find an alternative or
        are too far under water from your cost

        Making a bundle off of ABT? Hardly. There were (from
        '90-'98 prior to market fundamentals turning into
        fantasy) much better drug stocks to hold for price
        appreciation than ABT.

        Your posts about internal
        politics are best left to the actual insiders themselves -
        when and if they chose to speak. And there are many
        different expressions from them - I think depending upon
        their division of origin.

        As far as Burnham was
        concerned - he was the beneficiary of a VERY kind market
        and was quite risk averse in his investment choices.
        A very unkind market is in play today and requires
        a very different kind of manager. Granted the
        $100MM fine is bad news to Miles White; however, it all
        started in '93 with Burnham and Hodgson being fully
        disclosed on all aspects of the problems in FDA summary
        letters. Miles White had a job to do (manage up) and did
        it. Now (with those two completely out of the way,
        especially The Accountant who had no business ascending to
        the level of CEO in a science based company) he can
        work the company out of it with some very solid
        working assets.

        Based upon the fundamentals,
        especially ABT's excellent free cash flow from a very
        diversified base of business, he has a very powerful tool to
        work with to achieve his strategic objectives. Much
        better fundamentals than exist in ABT's peer group - and
        a better risk adjusted rate of return. Best to all

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