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Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Analyst Report) recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Xience Xpedition everolimus eluting coronary stent system. Xience Xpedition will be launched immediately in the US.

Xience Xpedition provides a new stent delivery system with optimum deliverability, strong clinical data and broad availability thereby equipping physicians with the ability to treat a wide range of patients compared to earlier versions. 
 
The Xience franchise, which includes Xience V, Prime and Nano versions, ended 2011 as the market leading drug eluting stent on a worldwide basis according to the company. 
 
Consistent growth and market penetration by the Xience drug eluting stent franchise continues to positively impact Abbott’s top line and is one of the primary focal areas of for Abbott. The launch of Xience Xpedition will further strengthen Abbott’s leading position in drug eluting stents. 
 
Abbott sells coronary, endovascular, structural heart, vessel closure and other medical device products on a worldwide basis through its vascular products segment.  
 
Abbott is consistently working on boosting its vascular products portfolio and expects to launch several products in the next five years. 
 
Abbott recently separated its research-based pharmaceuticals business by creating a new company – AbbVie (ABBV - Analyst Report). The decision to spin off the business was taken back in October 2011 when Abbott decided to separate its business into two publicly traded companies – one in diversified medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals.
 
We are positive on the split which should allow the two separate entities to perform in a more focused manner. 
 
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Abbott, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). Right now, Allergan, Inc. (AGN - Analyst Report) looks attractive with a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy). 

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