AbbottAbbott (NYSE: ABT) announced financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010. Worldwide sales increased 13.4 percent to nearly $10 billion, including an unfavorable 0.4 percent effect of foreign exchange rates. Growth in the quarter was driven by worldwide pharmaceutical sales, which increased 22.5 percent, including the contribution from the Solvay and Piramal acquisitions, as well as worldwide vascular products sales, which increased 13.7 percent.

Diluted earnings per share, excluding specified items, were $1.30, reflecting 10.2 percent growth. Diluted earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) were $0.92, primarily reflecting costs associated with recently announced restructuring actions for the integration of the Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquisition and in process R&D related to the Reata collaboration.

Fourth quarter results included strong investment spending, with an increased level of R&D spending, as well as an adjusted gross margin ratio of 60.6 percent, which increased 230 basis points over the prior year.

In response to changes in the healthcare industry, including U.S. Health Care Reform and the challenging regulatory environment, today Abbott announced a restructuring in its U.S. pharmaceutical business to streamline commercial and manufacturing operations, improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

Abbott is issuing ongoing earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2011 that reflects double-digit growth over 2010 at the midpoint of the range.

"Despite a very challenging environment, 2010 was another productive year for Abbott, resulting in strong financial performance," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "We also took decisive long-term strategic actions to expand our emerging markets presence and late-stage pipeline to better position Abbott for sustainable long-term growth. We anticipate delivering another year of double-digit ongoing earnings-per-share growth in 2011."

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.