AbbottAbbott (NYSE: ABT) announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. Worldwide sales increased 17.4 percent to more than $9 billion, including a favorable 1.3 percent effect of foreign exchange, which was driven by double-digit growth in each of Abbott's three major business categories.

Diluted earnings per share, excluding specified items, were $0.91, reflecting 12.3 percent growth. Diluted earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) were $0.55, including costs associated with acquisition integration, cost-reduction initiatives and acquired in-process R&D.

Durable Growth Business sales increased 24.3 percent, driven by strong Established Pharmaceuticals sales growth, including the contribution from the Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Piramal Healthcare Solutions acquisitions, and International Nutritionals sales growth of 15.8 percent.

Proprietary Pharmaceuticals sales increased 11.7 percent, including strong performance across several major global brands.

Innovation-Driven Device Business sales increased 10.7 percent, driven by double-digit growth in Vascular and Molecular Diagnostics.

Emerging markets sales were $2.3 billion, up 38.4 percent from the prior year, with strong growth across all of Abbott's operating divisions and including the impact of acquisitions.

Abbott is confirming ongoing earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2011, reflecting double-digit growth over 2010 at the midpoint of the range.

"Stronger-than-expected sales helped us deliver 12 percent ongoing earnings-per-share growth in the first quarter," said Miles White, chairman and chief executive officer. "Growth was balanced across our three key strategic business categories - Durable Growth, Proprietary Pharmaceuticals and Innovation-Driven Devices, reflecting healthy performance across our global operations, including continued rapid growth in emerging markets."

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.