Abbott Labs posts 16% profit drop amid coronavairus, suspends forecast

'It's an unprecedented time, and our employees are rising to it in unprecedented ways'

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Abbott Laboratories reported a 16 percent drop in first-quarter profit as the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on some business lines, curbing medical procedures and routine testing.

The Chicago-based health care products and services provider posted a first-quarter net profit of $564 million, or 31 cents a share. Net revenue rose 2.5 percent to $7.73 billion. While earnings per share missed the 58 cents that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting, revenue was ahead of the $7.34 billion estimate.

Shares were little changed after the report.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ABTABBOTT LABORATORIES108.36+0.32+0.30%

"First and foremost, I want to thank our employees, our customers, and our suppliers for their extraordinary efforts to maintain supply of our critically important products to the people who need them, around the world," CEO Robert Ford said in a statement. "It's an unprecedented time, and our colleagues are rising to it in unprecedented ways."

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Abbott has launched three critical new tests for COVID-19, including one which delivers results in as soon as five minutes.

The company suspended its previously announced full-year guidance which called for organic sales growth of 7 percent to 8 percent and full-year earnings of $2.35 to $2.45 a share.

On Wednesday, Abbott said it would ship 4 million coronavirus antibody tests this month and will ramp up to 20 million by June.

Abbott shares were up 12 percent this year through Wednesday.