Second quarter 2005 net earnings rose by a not insignificant 38% at Abbott Laboratories to $877 million dollars, on the back of an 18% hike in sales to $5.5 billion, which were in turn driven by increasing sales of the firm’s pharmaceutical portfolio.

Pharmaceutical sales were up 18% over the corresponding quarter of 2004 [[12/07/04a]], coming in at $1.9 billion, led by a strong performance from the rheumatoid arthritis offering, Humira (adalimumab), which surged 58% to $321 million. The cholesterol-lowerer, TriCor (fenofibrate), was up 23% to $219 million, while Mobic (meloxicam) for osteoarthritis jumped a staggering 204% to $322 million, benefiting from the safety concerns that are currently clouding the reputation of rival products in the wake of the withdrawal of Merck & Co’s Vioxx (rofecoxib) and Pfizer’s Bextra (valdecoxib) [[01/10/04a]], [[08/04/05a]].

Sales of the firm's medical products increased 14% during the three months, driven by a 13% hike in diagnostics revenues to $957 million, including 34% growth from the diabetes care franchise to $264 million.

Abbott said that its earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2005 remains unchanged at between $2.47 and $2.53 [[19/01/05c]], excluding one-time charges, which is in line with consensus estimates of around $2.50. However, the company is expecting charges of $0.23 per share to hit financials, relating to charges associated with the repatriation of millions of dollars worth of foreign earning, as well as the cost reduction and gross margin improvement initiatives. These were put into action earlier this year and are expected to result in one-time after-tax charges in the second half of this year of approximately $215 million, and will continue into 2006, but are ultimately expected to yield annual pre-tax savings in excess of $200 million.

The company also said it was targeting EPS in the $0.56 to $0.58 range for the third quarter of the year – as much as 9% higher than the $0.53 recorded in the second quarter last year [[15/10/04a]]. Second quarter 2005 EPS came in at $0.56.