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Abbott Laboratories

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Abbott has been reshaping its portfolio through strategic acquisitions/divestitures for long-term growth. The St. Jude Medical buyout will complement its cardiovascular devices business. On the other hand,  in order to focus on key areas, cardiovascular devices and diagnostics, Abbott inked a deal to divest its vision care business, Medical Optics, to J&J. Abbott’s initiative to realign the EPD segment was a step in the right direction given the challenging market conditions faced by the division. The company recently filed a complaint to terminate its proposed acquisition of Alere, based on a substantial deterioration in the latter’s value following the merger agreement.  Meanwhile, weakness in the nutrition business in China and sluggish growth in the Venezuelan market is concerning. Shares of Abbott underperformed the Zacks classified Large cap pharmaceuticals industry in the year-to-date period.

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