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Abbott beats profit estimates as medical device sales rebound

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Boxes of Abbott's heart stents are pictured inside a store at a hospital in New Delhi
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(Reuters) -Abbott Laboratories beat quarterly profit estimates on Thursday, driven by a rebound in its non-COVID-19 testing business and sales of its medical devices as vaccinations encouraged Americans to resume non-urgent procedures.

The strong results saw the company join rival Quest Diagnostics in signaling a recovery in their mainstay businesses, after a year in which they had to depend on coronavirus testing to bring in sales.

Abbott said its second-quarter sales, excluding COVID testing, rose more than 11% on an organic basis from the pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019.

Its worldwide diagnostics revenue, excluding coronavirus testing, increased 42.5% from a year earlier, while medical devices sales rose 51.3% on the back of growth in its heart devices business.

But the rise in vaccinations pulled down its COVID-19 testing-related sales to $1.3 billion, from $2.2 billion in the previous quarter.

The company reiterated its 2021 adjusted earnings forecast of $4.30 to $4.50 per share from continuing operations.

The robust quarterly performance is a positive sign for the continued recovery in the medical device industry, J.P.Morgan analyst Robbie Marcus said in a note.

Marcus added that the company's outlook "leaves room at both ends to continue to adjust to the evolving COVID landscape."

Excluding items, Abbott earned $1.17 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.02 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Aditya Soni)