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Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Will This Stock Hit New Highs After Earnings?

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On Wednesday, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed kneejerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Abbott is only part of what it used to be, with the highly successful AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) pharmaceutical giant having traded as an independent company for a full quarter now. Now on its own, Abbott is free to pursue its own path. Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Abbott Labs

Analyst EPS Estimate $0.41
Year-Ago EPS $1.03*
Revenue Estimate $5.42 billion
Year-Ago Revenue $9.46 billion*
Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters 4

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, S&P Capital IQ. *Year-ago figures exclude certain one-time items but include sales and income now attributable to AbbVie.

Will Abbott Labs keep moving forward?
Analysts have been mixed in their views of Abbott over the past few months. They’ve reined in their estimates for the just-ended quarter by a nickel per share, but they’ve expanded their earnings call for the full year by the same amount. The stock has chosen the more positive outlook, rising more than 12% since early January.

Abbott LaboratoriesUntil recently, when investors thought of Abbott, they likely thought of Humira, the blockbuster drug that is now the main driver of revenue for AbbVie. But now, Abbott gets substantial portions of its revenue from several sources, including nutritional products, diagnostics, vascular products, and generic drugs.

Right out of the gate, Abbott found some success, getting FDA approval for its XIENCE Xpedition drug-eluting stent. The stent market could prove increasingly important for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) going forward, as its Absorb line of products moves through clinical trials. Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) has a competing product, its Synergy line, which looks like the only potential roadblock for Abbott to capture first-mover status in bioresorbable stents.

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