Shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) rallied 2.8% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the health care company reported third-quarter profit and sales that rose well above expectations, with the strongest growth seen in its diagnostics business, and provided an upbeat full-year outlook. Net income rose to $2.52 billion, or $1.17 a share, from $1.76 billion, or 69 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.40 from 98 cents to beat the FactSet consensus of 94 cents. Sales grew 23.4% to $10.93 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $9.56 billion, as nutrition sales rose 9.6%, diagnostics sales increased 48.2%, established pharmaceuticals sales grew 15.15 and medical devices sales rose 14.6%. Sales growth outpaced the 13.9% rise in operating costs and expenses. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS of $5.00 to $5.10, compared with the FactSet consensus of $4.46. Abbott Labs' stock has gained 9.0% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has rallied 20.3%.
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