I am not going to comment on the diagnostic side other than to say overall diagnostics are flat, and it is a share/price game. That said Abbott may be one of the few along with Roche that remain standing.
Pharma pipeline is very thin, as has been acknowledged by the senior management. They recently licensed in micronized phenofibrate from a french company. This is a dog of a product whose only chance is if Abbott decides to combine it with a generic version of lovastatin. This is a possibility, though it could not be launched until after patent of lovastatin has expired.
Their newest compound for asthma is awful. Has horrible dosing. This product will be dead in the water after Merck launches Singulair.
Abbott's Aids drug is doing ok, but longterm, they need to beef up their anti-infective line to compete in the market. With SKB/Glaxo with multiple products, Merck with access to a NNRI through Dupont-Merck, it will be an increasingly tough market to compete in.
Also, Abbott is losing their access to Takeda's product line. TAP is a single product company focusing on Prevacid. Takeda recently formed their own US subsidiary.
All in all Abbott will need to do some quick licensing in of some second rate products just to keep pace with the rest of the big boys.
It is difficult to compare Abbott with PFE and MRK since ABT is more of a diversified world healthcare company. Some might argue that their diagnostic division is taking a back seat to pharmaceuticals........ I think that merger prospects for ABT are a possibility but its hard to say if they would be the aggressor or the object...they might even be more valuable in pieces....or that diversity might solidify their future.....Abbott's Ross division has a large market share but since they can no longer jack prices at will and no longer corner the market they will lose their huge growth they once enjoyed......diagnostics may benefit since Roche's margins are shrinking and look for ABT to acquire more smaller companies..... as seen recently here.....MURXF.......looks like one hell of a match and have had ties to ABT and Shield for years......they also recently acquired MediSense for Glucose monitoring............. I would look for diagnostics to branch out into veterinary diagnostics soon.............. from the pharmaceutical standpoint their pipeline looks thin..... although they always seem to license something good......ie Biaxin.....see the news today on a cholesterol lowering agent........ and maybe this frog toxin analog ie non-morophine-like...... will be a block buster........somehow they seem to pull things off..... with the ceo and the 2nd in command leaving over the next 2 years look for a stock split anouncement tomorrow........ they want to go out in a blaze of glory...... and leave before they can't sustain double digit eps..........this last quarter they only had 4% increase in sales (or something like that) yet 11+% eps......probably due to stock buy back............... not sure but I would bet they are sitting on a pile of cash...... at least that is what has been said in the past............well that's my 2 cnts for now...............Best of luck to all.......p.s. check out AVII....antisense stuff....anti-cancer stuff............. lots of prospective growth even if its just from the management team......................
who said ceo and 2nd in command leaving in the next two years? never heard about this. i have done very well with abt. i agree, abt is not like pfe and mrk. i like this company very well. new drugs are not the only revune produced from this company. i can sleep at night knowing abt will not decrease 10% over night. from what i have read, this company has more cash than it knows what to do with. abt decided to buy stock in its own company(repurchase) rather than taking over another company. its a plus, abt has more confidence in itself than other companies. yes, abt will probably take over something soon, but it will be minor. go with a sure bet, abt is king. i like your post jrmk3 thank you for the info, you dont talk about garbage.
ps: if abt drug frog toxin goes well, you will see the #1 drug company in the world!!! wishfull thinking thats possible.