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Abbott Acquires OptiMedica

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Abbott Labs (ABT - Free Report) recently announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of privately-held OptiMedica Corporation for $250 million in cash.

The acquisition was announced in Jul 2013. This acquisition should expand Abbott Labs’ vision care business into the femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery market.

OptiMedica’s Catalys Precision Laser System carries a CE mark in the EU and has been approved in the U.S. as well. This laser system replaces certain manual steps in cataract surgery with precise, image-guided, femtosecond laser technology.

Hence, the acquisition will further boost the cataract surgery business at Abbott Labs’ which currently account for 60% of total sales of the vision care business.

Abbott Labs’s vision care business was up 2% in the second quarter of 2013 driven by solid cataract sales attributed to strong double-digit growth in the emerging markets and Tecnis of intraocular lenses (IOL).

Abbott Labs expects further growth in its cataract business to be driven by several important new product launches in 2013.

Key launches include Tecnis OptiBlue in Japan providing access to the largest segment of the Japanese market and Tecnis Toric in the U.S. enabling Abbott Labs to enter the faster growing premium segment of the IOL market.

Further, Abbott Labs expects to launch Tecnis Preloaded IOL in the U.S. in the second half of 2013 which should propel growth.

Hence, Abbott Labs expects mid-single digit growth (excluding currency translation impact) in the third quarter of 2013 driven by traction in the cataract surgery business.

We are impressed by Abbott Lab’s efforts to drive growth in its promising vision care business.

We remind investors that Abbott Labs became a diversified medical products company focusing on branded generic pharmaceutical, medical devices, diagnostic and nutritional businesses following the separation of its research-based pharmaceuticals business into a new company, AbbVie Inc. (ABBV - Free Report) , in Jan 2013.

Abbott Labs currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Shire (SHPG - Free Report) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ - Free Report) look attractive, each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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