(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories Inc’s (ABT.N) shares rose to an all-time high on Wednesday after the device maker beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales on higher demand for its nutrition products and generic drugs.
Shares rose as much as 3% to $92.45 in early trade and were set for their best day in more than three months, after the company said it expects 2020 full-year adjusted earnings from continuing operations between $3.55 and $3.65 per share.
JP Morgan analyst Robbie Marcus said he expected 2020 to be another year of “top-tier growth” for Abbott, driven by strength from its glucose monitoring device, FreeStyle Libre, and its pipeline of heart devices.
Abbott’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Ford, a key person behind Libre’s growth, will replace long-time Chief Executive Miles White in March and is expected to prioritize sales of the glucose monitoring device and heart device MitraClip.
Ford, who plans to focus on advertising, grow sales force and partnerships to promote Libre, said the company was not looking at making any deals in the foreseeable future.
In the reported quarter, the company’s largest unit of medical devices brought in revenue of $3.20 billion, just meeting estimates.
Sales of FreeStyle Libre, which helps diabetics track blood sugar levels without having to prick their fingers, rose 58.5% to $534 million. The device was launched in Europe in 2014 and in the United States three years later.
Abbott said it plans to roll out its Freestyle Libre 2.0 – a new version of the glucose monitoring device that is awaiting FDA approval – into new untapped geographies and existing Libre markets.
The company in July said it planned to ramp up manufacturing capacity for FreeStyle Libre by three to five times in the next few years.
The nutrition unit, which sells products such as rehydration drink Pedialyte and children’s protein shake PediaSure, brought in revenue of $1.87 billion in the fourth quarter, beating consensus estimates of $1.83 billion.
Abbott’s generics unit, which caters to emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil, recorded sales of $1.17 billion, slightly ahead of estimates of $1.16 billion.
Overall sales rose 7% to $8.31 billion, beating estimates of $8.26 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Excluding items, Abbott earned 95 cents per share, in-line with the average analyst estimate.
Reporting by Trisha Roy and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli