Abbott Reports 2018 Results and Issues Strong Forecast for 2019
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Jan. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2018, and issued financial outlook for 2019.
Full-year 2018 worldwide sales of $30.6 billion increased 11.6 percent on a reported basis and 7.3 percent on an organic* basis.
Reported diluted EPS from continuing operations under GAAP was $1.31 in the full year 2018 and adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations, which excludes specified items, was $2.88, reflecting 15.2 percent growth1.
Fourth-quarter worldwide sales of $7.8 billion increased 2.3 percent on a reported basis and 6.4 percent on an organic basis.
Reported diluted EPS from continuing operations under GAAP was $0.37 in the fourth quarter and adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations, which excludes specified items, was $0.81.
Abbott issues full-year 2019 guidance for organic sales growth of 6.5 to 7.5 percent2, which excludes the impact of foreign exchange, and diluted EPS from continuing operations on a GAAP basis of $1.80 to $1.90. Projected full-year adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations is $3.15 to $3.25, reflecting double-digit growth at the mid-point.
In 2018, Abbott generated strong operating cash flow and paid down more than $8 billion of debt.
During 2018, Abbott returned $2 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and, in December, announced a 14.3 percent increase in its quarterly common dividend.
In October, Abbott received U.S. FDA approval of its HeartMate 3™ left ventricular assist device as a destination (long-term use) therapy. In January 2019, Abbott announced U.S. FDA approval of its TactiCath™ Contact Force Ablation Catheter, Sensor Enabled™, a new catheter designed to help physicians accurately and effectively treat atrial fibrillation, a form of irregular heartbeat.
"2018 was another outstanding year for Abbott," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "We exceeded the organic sales growth range we set at the beginning of the year, achieved a number of significant advances in our pipeline, and significantly improved our balance sheet and strategic flexibility. We're very well-positioned heading into 2019."
* See note on organic growth below.
FOURTH-QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2018 BUSINESS OVERVIEW
Note: Management believes that measuring sales growth rates on an organic basis is an appropriate way for investors to best understand the underlying performance of the business.
For 2018, Organic sales growth:
Excludes prior year results for the Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) and St. Jude Medical vascular closure businesses, which were divested during the first quarter 2017;
Excludes the current and prior year results for Rapid Diagnostics, which reflect results for Alere Inc., which was acquired on Oct. 3, 2017;
Excludes the prior year fourth quarter results for a non-core business within U.S. Adult Nutrition, which was discontinued during the third quarter 2018; and
Excludes the impact of foreign exchange.