Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Abbott Rides on Strong CGM, Poor Rhythm Management Ails

Read MoreHide Full Article

On May 10, we issued an updated research report on Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) . The company has been consistently delivering solid organic growth in the Established Pharmaceuticals (EPD) and Diabetes segments. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

This leading developer, manufacturer and seller of a diversified line of health care products has outperformed its industry over the past six months. The stock has gained 10.2% compared with the industry’s 6.3% rise.

Abbott exited the first quarter of 2019 with better-than-expected earnings and revenue figures. We are optimistic about the strong and consistent performance in the company’s EPD and Medical Devices segments on an organic basis. Particularly, Abbott has been riding high on a healthy growth trajectory within its Diabetes Care business.

The company has been gaining prominence with developments in the flagship, sensor-based continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system — FreeStyle Libre System. Also, solid contributions from Diagnostics were encouraging wherein sales were led by core laboratory growth of 10%. Alinity, the company’s family of next-generation diagnostics systems, is driving solid growth internationally.

Within Nutrition, the company is witnessing sturdy underlying market demand and is successfully achieving above market growth in several geographies, particularly across Asia and Latin America.

Within Structural Heart, the worldwide robust uptake of MitraClip therapy improves further. In this regard, the company received an FDA approval for a new expanded indication pertaining to MitraClip, which has significantly broadened its customer base. Already, the formal process seeking Medicare reimbursement for this new indication has been initiated. The company has also filed for a CE Mark in relation to its new TriClip device (a first-of-its kind minimally invasive device for repairing a leaky tricuspid heart valve) and plans to initiate the U.S. pivotal trial for TriClip in the coming months.

This apart, synergies from Alere consolidation in the form of revenues from Rapid Diagnostics is boosting the company’s business. Meanwhile, the emerging market performance has been extremely promising on several strategic developments.

Meanwhile, a sluggish Rhythm Management arm in the United States persistently impedes growth. Also, increasing currency headwinds to some extent dented Abbott’s global performance in the last reported quarter.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Stryker Corporation (SYK - Free Report) , CONMED (CNMD - Free Report) and DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc (XRAY - Free Report) , each currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Stryker’s long-term earnings growth rate is projected to be 10.1%.

CONMED’s long-term earnings growth rate is expected at 13.3%.

DENTSPLY SIRONA’s long-term earnings growth rate is predicted to be 11.5%.

Zacks' Top 10 Stocks for 2019

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 finest buy-and-holds for the year? Who wouldn't? Our annual Top 10s have beaten the market with amazing regularity. In 2018, while the market dropped -5.2%, the portfolio scored well into double-digits overall with individual stocks rising as high as +61.5%. And from 2012-2017, while the market boomed +126.3, Zacks' Top 10s reached an even more sensational +181.9%. See Latest Stocks Today >>