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Abbott Reports Double-Digit Sales and Earnings Growth in Fourth Quarter; Issues Strong Earnings Outlook for 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Jan. 27 Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009.

"Abbott's 2009 results demonstrated the sustainable strength and balance of our broad-based businesses," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "We took decisive long-term strategic actions in 2009 to ensure our strong results continue for years to come. As a result, we're positioned to deliver another year of top-tier performance in 2010."

The following is a summary of fourth-quarter 2009 sales.

The following is a summary of full-year 2009 sales.

The following summarizes the impact of foreign exchange on global sales for selected products.

The following is a summary of Abbott's fourth-quarter 2009 sales for selected products.

The following summarizes the impact of foreign exchange on global sales for selected products.

The following is a summary of Abbott's full-year 2009 sales for selected products.

Business Highlights

Abbott issues earnings-per-share outlook for 2010

Abbott is issuing ongoing earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2010 of $4.20 to $4.25, excluding specified items. The midpoint of this range reflects growth of approximately 13.5 percent over 2009, including an expected February 2010 close of the Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquisition.

Abbott forecasts specified items for the full-year 2010 of approximately $0.28 per share, primarily associated with previously announced acquisitions and cost reduction initiatives, as well as the one-time impact of the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar on translation of the balance sheet. Including these specified items, projected earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) would be $3.92 to $3.97 for the full-year 2010. This forecast excludes integration costs associated with the Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquisition, which will be quantified at a later date.

Abbott declares quarterly dividend; double-digit increase over prior year

On Dec. 11, 2009, the board of directors of Abbott declared the company's quarterly common dividend of 40 cents per share, an increase of 11 percent over the prior period. The cash dividend is payable Feb. 15, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 15, 2010. This marks the 344th consecutive dividend paid by Abbott since 1924.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com. Abbott will webcast its live fourth-quarter earnings conference call through its Investor Relations Web site at www.abbottinvestor.com at 8 a.m. Central time today. An archived edition of the call will be available after 11 a.m. Central time.

Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to our Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and are incorporated by reference. Abbott undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments.

Questions & Answers

Q1) What drove the growth of worldwide pharmaceutical sales?

A1) Reported HUMIRA global sales growth was 21.4 percent for the full-year 2009, exceeding our previous full-year sales guidance for the product. International pharmaceutical sales in the fourth quarter increased 22.1 percent, including a 5.6 percent favorable impact from exchange. Internationally, growth for HUMIRA was 48.0 percent, with reported sales of $888 million. International anti-TNF market growth trends remain strong, and HUMIRA maintains a market-leading position in many of the international markets, including the number one share position in Western Europe.

U.S. pharmaceutical sales declined 1.9 percent, excluding the expected decline of Depakote sales due to generic competition, which reduced U.S. pharmaceutical sales growth by 6.7 percentage points. Reported U.S. pharmaceutical sales declined 8.6 percent.

U.S. pharmaceutical sales were led by Niaspan, with sales of $254 million, up 14.9 percent. The release of the Arbiter-6 HALTS study data at AHA in November is having a favorable impact on Niaspan prescribing trends. TriCor/TRILIPIX franchise growth this quarter was impacted by the comparison to prior year, when sales were up 16 percent, including the initial launch of TRILIPIX. Total prescriptions for the TriCor/TRILIPIX franchise continue to grow in the mid-to high-single digits, exceeding the growth rate of the cholesterol market.

In line with our expectations, U.S. HUMIRA sales growth was impacted by the comparison to the fourth quarter of 2008, when sales growth was 42 percent. Underlying demand for HUMIRA continues to outpace the market, with particularly strong growth in the dermatology and gastroenterology segments. During 2009, HUMIRA gained total prescription share in the U.S. anti-TNF market, with 42 percent share at year end.

Q2) What drove the strong performance in worldwide medical products and worldwide nutritional products sales?

A2) Medical products sales increased 23.4 percent, including a favorable 3.2 percent impact from exchange and sales from Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), which was acquired during the first quarter of 2009. Medical Products strength in the quarter reflects 9.1 percent growth in worldwide vascular sales and strong growth in U.S. Diagnostics, including continued double-digit growth in Abbott's molecular and point of care diagnostics businesses.

Vascular sales were driven by the continued market uptake of XIENCE V, which remains the number one drug-eluting stent (DES) in the United States and Europe. In January, we received approval for XIENCE V in Japan and expect to launch upon final reimbursement authorization, which we anticipate in early February. Japan is the second-largest drug-eluting stent market. XIENCE PRIME, our next-generation drug-eluting stent, is off to a strong start in Europe, where it was launched in September 2009. XIENCE PRIME is gaining market share given its improved deliverability and additional long-lesion sizes. In addition, XIENCE V was approved in Mexico in January.

Worldwide nutritional products sales increased 8.8 percent, including a favorable 0.9 percent impact from exchange. International nutritional product sales increased 11.0 percent, reflecting strong growth in key emerging markets, including Latin America and Asia.

Q3) What was the fourth-quarter gross margin ratio?

A3) The gross margin ratio before and after specified items is shown below (dollars in millions):

The adjusted gross margin ratio was 58.3 percent, consistent with our previous forecast, reflecting the expected reduction in Depakote sales resulting from generic competition and the negative impact of foreign exchange on the ratio.

Q4) What was the tax rate for the full-year 2009 and in the quarter?

A4) The full-year 2009 ongoing tax rate of 16.8 percent reflects continuing favorable trends. We expect these trends to continue into 2010. The fourth-quarter ongoing tax rate was 14.5 percent, reflecting the mix of income by taxing jurisdiction. The reported fourth-quarter tax rate is reconciled to the ongoing rate below (dollars in millions):

Q5) What drove SG&A and R&D investment in the quarter?

A5) In the fourth quarter, Abbott increased investment in programs to drive future growth, resulting in ongoing SG&A expense that was above previous expectations. R&D investment was in line with our forecasts, reflecting continued investment in our broad-based pipeline, including programs in vascular devices, immunology, neuroscience, oncology and HCV.

Q6) How did specified items affect reported results?

A6) Specified items impacted fourth-quarter results as follows:

Acquired in-process R&D is related to the acquisition of global rights to PanGenetics' PG110, a novel biologic in development for the treatment of chronic pain. Product suspension primarily relates to inventory write-offs associated with the suspension of sibutramine by certain countries following the European regulatory recommendation. Acquisition related is primarily associated with integration costs related to the acquisitions of AMO, Evalve and Visiogen. Cost reduction initiatives include actions to improve efficiencies, including the previously announced efforts in the core laboratory diagnostic business.

The pre-tax impact of specified items by Consolidated Statement of Earnings line item is as follows (dollars in millions):

Q7) What are the key areas of focus in Abbott's broad-based pipeline?

A7) Abbott is conducting leading-edge research across the company. In 2010, we expect to see continued advancement in our broad-based pipeline, including the anticipated approval for five new products or indications and data for numerous Phase I and Phase II compounds. Our pipeline is comprised of breakthrough research across both pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Following are select highlights:

-- Diluted earnings per share, excluding specified items, were $1.18, reflecting 11.3 percent growth, at the high end of Abbott's previous forecast. Diluted earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) were $0.98, up 10.1 percent. -- Worldwide sales increased 10.6 percent to nearly $8.8 billion, including a favorable 2.4 percent effect of exchange rates. Excluding the expected decline in DepakoteŪ sales due to generic competition, worldwide reported sales increased 12.7 percent. Full-year 2009 sales were $30.8 billion. -- Worldwide pharmaceutical sales increased 5.2 percent, including a favorable 2.5 percent effect of exchange rates. Excluding the impact of Depakote, worldwide pharmaceutical sales increased 8.9 percent. International pharmaceutical sales increased 22.1 percent, including a favorable 5.6 percent effect of exchange rates. -- Worldwide medical products sales increased 23.4 percent, including a favorable 3.2 percent effect of exchange rates. -- Worldwide nutritional sales increased 8.8 percent, including a favorable 0.9 percent effect of exchange rates. -- Abbott is issuing ongoing earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2010 of $4.20 to $4.25, excluding specified items. The midpoint of this range reflects growth of approximately 13.5 percent over 2009, including an expected February 2010 close of the Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquisition.

SOURCE Abbott
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