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Tickers in this Article: ABT
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) announced its results for the most recent quarter on October 17, 2012. Abbott Laboratories is a pharmaceuticals health care company, whose main line of business is in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of a broad range of health care products. Its customers include wholesalers, hospitals and commercial laboratories.

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The Numbers: Abbott's EPS outpaced analyst estimates while the company's revenues came in below predictions. The company reported adjusted net income of $1.30 per share versus the $1.27 per share estimate and revenues of $9.77 billion versus the $9.84 billion estimate. Revenue fell 0.4% from the same period last year. Slumping revenue in the last quarter ends Abbott's streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Abbott's net income for the third quarter was $1.94 billion. According to the reported number, this is up 540.9% from last year's figures.

Management Quote: "Abbott delivered another quarter of strong results with ongoing earnings per share up more than 10 percent, despite a challenging global economy," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "There were several product launches across pharmaceuticals, vascular and diagnostics, which will contribute to future growth. In addition, we remain on track to separate into two leading health care companies on January 1, 2013."

A Look Back: Net income has increased more than twofold year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the most recent quarter, when income climbed more than sixfold from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: Over the last 30 days, analysts have not been optimistic about the company's next-quarter performance. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is now $1.52 per share, down from $1.54. Decreasing earnings estimates is generally a negative sign as it suggests analyst believe future earnings to be weaker than previously anticipated. Over the past 60 days, the average estimate for the fiscal year has reached $5.05 per share, a decline from $5.06.

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