Abbott raises profit outlook

Abbott Laboratories Inc. raised its profit outlook for the year Wednesday as it reported sales and earnings that topped expectations for the second quarter.

The North Chicago-based pharmaceuticals and medical devices company increased its earnings forecast to between $2.19 and $2.29 a share, up 3 cents a share from its last estimate.

“We’re ahead of our expectations through the first half of the year and are raising our (earnings) guidance range as we continue to shape the company for long-term growth,” Chairman and CEO Miles D. White said in a press release.

The company reported sales of $5.55 billion in the second quarter compared with $5.44 billion a year earlier, an increase of 1.9 percent. Analysts had expected sales of $5.52 billion in the recent period, Reuters reported.

Abbott had net earnings of $466 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with $476 million, or 30 cents a share. Excluding charges, the company reported earnings of 54 cents a share compared with 46 cents a share a year earlier. Analysts had expected earnings of 51 cents a share, Reuters reported.

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