Abbott Laboratories Beats on Q2 Estimates, But Stock Slides

Although it's popular as a coronavirus stock these days, Abbot Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) nevertheless is struggling with other areas of its business. This was revealed in the company's second quarter of fiscal 2020 results, which it published Thursday morning.

The quarter saw the healthcare mainstay's total sales fall by 8% on a year-over-year basis to $7.33 billion. Non-GAAP (adjusted) net earnings declined at a 47% clip, meanwhile, to $537 million, or $0.57 per share.

Two healthcare professionals conferring in a hospital lobby.

Image source: Getty Images.

Analysts tracking the stock were expecting worse. On average, they believed Abbott would take in $6.81 billion in sales and post an adjusted net profit of $0.42 per share.

Two of the company's four business lines -- its largest, medical devices, and established pharmaceuticals -- saw notably lower sales during the quarter, falling a respective 21% and nearly 9%. Nutrition was stagnant. Diagnostics, however, was a standout with growth of just under 5%.

The reason for this is the company's COVID-19 testing solutions, which are offered on five diagnostic platforms. All told, Abbott drew $615 million in sales from such offerings.

The company expects demand for COVID-19 diagnostics to remain robust and positively impact the bottom line; after all, the virus continues to spread throughout the U.S., if not necessarily abroad. Abbott proffered adjusted per-share earnings guidance of at least $3.25 for this year, well above the average analyst projection of $2.90.

A Dividend Aristocrat, Abbott also declared its upcoming quarterly distribution. Like the two trailing payments, this will be $0.36 per share, payable on Aug. 17 to investors of record as of July 15. It yields 1.5%.

Despite the sales and earnings beats, Abbott's shares dipped by 0.3% on Thursday. This was essentially in step with the declines of the leading equity indexes.

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