Abbott's 1Q earnings up 35 percent on strong drug sales

Abbott reported Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings rose to $937.9 million, up almost 35 percent over the same period in 2007. The results were boosted by a nearly 54-percent increase in Humira quarterly sales to $878 million.

The company reported that global sales of prescription drugs gained 14.3 percent over the year-prior period, rising to $3.9 billion in the quarter. Depakote sales rose 12 percent to $365 million, while Kaletra revenue increased 18 percent to $353 million. TriCor's quarterly sales were up 10 percent to $245 million compared with the prior-year quarter. Overall, Abbott's total quarterly revenue grew 13.8 percent to $6.8 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $6.5 billion.

Polen Capital Management analyst Damon Ficklin commented that "this is another quarter showing diversified strength in this very global company.'' Sara Michelmore of Cowen & Co. also noted that the results are "very solid," and pointed to Humira as "the primary growth and profitability driver for the company."

CEO Miles White said that "the continued productivity of our late-stage pipeline, combined with the underlying strength of our broad mix of businesses, gives us a high level of confidence in our future growth outlook." The company stated that it believes Humira sales will reach more than $4 billion this year.

To read more Top Story articles, click here.