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Abbott's Xience Stent Propels Earnings

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | July 15, 2009
Abbott Xience V
Although Abbott's second-quarter earnings of $1.29 billion, or 83 cents a share, were down from $1.32 billion, or 85 cents a share in last year's second quarter--due to restructuring and acquisition costs and a stronger dollar--the company's Xience drug-eluding stent emerged as a star player.

U.S. vascular sales--including Abbott's stent--surged 34 percent to $658 million, as Xience has become the market leader since its 2008 launch.

Excluding items such as acquisition and restructuring costs, earnings would have climbed to 89 cents from 84 cents, in the year-earlier period.

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Abbott's net sales edged up 2.5 percent to $7.5 billion, but would have soared 10.5 percent, if not for the one-time items.

The company says a 4-percentage-point drop in sales was due to loss of patent protection for its top-selling, anti-epilepsy drug Depakote.

Pharmaceuticals, Abbott's largest division, skidded 4.3 percent as a result of Depakote's patent expiration. The drug, an anti-convulsant widely used for mood disorders, saw quarterly sales plunge 79 percent to $102 million, as generics eclipsed the medicine's market share.

Offsetting Depakote's demise, Humira, an injectable drug for arthritis, which competes with J & J's Remicade and Wyeth's, Enbrel, jumped about 20 percent to $1.31 billion.

Diagnostic Products Fell 6 Percent to $878 Million

"We achieved our performance goals for the quarter, with results at the high end of our previous expectations," said Miles D. White, Abbott's chairman and chief executive officer.

"Our diverse mix of market-leading products and global businesses delivered double-digit operational sales growth, with strong performance from our key growth drivers."

Source: Abbott