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Abbott beats fourth quarter profit forecasts

Abbott Laboratories on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $905 million.

On a per-share basis, the North Chicago company said it had profit of 59 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 71 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 68 cents per share.

The maker of infant formula, medical devices and drugs posted revenue of $5.36 billion in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Analysts expected $5.48 billion, according to Zacks.

For the current quarter ending in March, Abbott expects its per-share earnings to range from 41 cents to 43 cents.

The company expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.10 to $2.20 per share.

Abbott shares have fallen almost 4 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has declined nearly 3 percent. The stock has risen 19 percent in the last 12 months.