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Why Is Abbott (ABT) Up 2.1% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Abbott (ABT). Shares have added about 2.1% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Abbott due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Abbott Posts Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat

Abbott reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.40 per share, which exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 52.2%. The adjusted figure improved 42.9% from the prior-year quarter.

The quarter’s adjustments include certain non-recurring intangible amortization expenses and other expenses primarily associated with restructuring actions, acquisitions and other expenses.

Reported earnings from continuing operations came in at $1.17, reflecting a 69.6% surge year on year.

Third-quarter worldwide sales of $10.93 billion were up 23.4% year over year on a reported basis. The top line exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15.3%. On an organic basis (adjusting for the impact of foreign exchange), sales improved 22.4% year over year in the reported quarter.

Quarter in Detail

Abbott operates through four segments — Established Pharmaceuticals Division (EPD), Medical Devices, Nutrition, and Diagnostics.

In the third quarter, EPD sales improved 15.1% on a reported basis (up 15.3% on an organic basis) to $1.27 billion. Organic sales in key emerging markets improved 17.9% year over year. According to Abbott, organic sales improvement was backed by strong growth across several geographies, including China, Russia and India.

Medical Devices business sales improved 14.6% on a reported basis (up 13.1% on an organic basis) to $3.63 billion. Barring Neuromodulation, all other sub segments in the quarter reported organic revenue growth.

Diabetes Care reported organic growth of 30.6% year over year led by FreeStyle Libre and Libre Sense, which represented 41.6% of organic sales growth in the reported quarter. Heart Failure sales improved 19.5% organically.

When compared with the pre-pandemic figures of 2019, Medical Devices sales improved 18.5% on a reported basis (up 16.1% on an organic basis) in the third quarter.

Nutrition sales were up 9.6% year over year on a reported basis (up 8.9% on an organic basis) to $2.11 billion. Pediatric Nutrition sales registered an improvement of 8.6% on an organic basis, banking on strong sales of oral hydration brand, Pedialyte, and continued share growth in infant nutrition space.

Adult Nutrition sales improved 9.3% organically. According to the company, Adult Nutrition sales benefited from improved sales performance of Abbott's complete and balanced nutrition brand Ensure and diabetes nutrition brand, Glucerna.

Diagnostics sales were up 48.2% year over year on a reported basis (up 46.8% on an organic basis) to $3.91 billion. Core Laboratory Diagnostics sales were up 8.1% organically. However, Molecular Diagnostics plunged 25.6% on an organic basis. Rapid Diagnostics sales improved 143.3% on an organic basis. Point of Care Diagnostics sales rose 2.8% organically.

Excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales, worldwide diagnostics sales improved 12.5% organically in the reported quarter.

2021 Guidance

Abbott raised its 2021 EPS guidance. Full-year adjusted earnings from continuing operations (excluding specified items of $1.45 per share) are now expected in the range of $5.00- $5.10 per share (compared with the earlier band of $4.30- $4.50). The current Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $4.42.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in estimates revision. The consensus estimate has shifted 14.24% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Abbott has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Abbott has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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