Shares of Abbott Laboratories rose 1.7% in light premarket trade Wednesday, after the drug maker reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit, and lifted the midpoint of its full-year outlook, citing an improved performance in its branded generic pharmaceuticals and nutrition businesses. For the latest quarter, net earnings fell to $538 million, or 36 cents a share, from $966 million, or 61 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted per-share earnings were 62 cents, above the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 59 cents. The full-year 2014 earnings-per-share outlook was revised to $2.25 to $2.27 from $2.19 to $2.29. Net sales rose 5.8% to $5.1 billion, while sales including discontinued operations totaled $5.6 billion. Analysts were forecasting revenue of $5.6 billion. The stock has gained 11% so far this year, compared with a 5% rise in the S&P 500.
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