April 17, 2019 / 2:39 PM / 7 months ago

Abbott Labs beats first-quarter expectations on higher diabetes devices sales

FILE PHOTO: Boxes of Abbott's heart stents are pictured inside a store at a hospital in New Delhi, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

(Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories Inc reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profit and sales on Wednesday on surging sales of its Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring device and as more of its heart devices were used in surgical procedures.

Sales of the glucose monitor device, approved in 2017 and which helps people track blood sugar levels without having to prick their fingers, jumped 70.2 percent in the first quarter.

Total diabetes care sales rose 34.4 percent to $566 million, ahead of consensus expectations of $519 million, according to BMO.

Total cardiovascular and neuromodulation sales rose 0.2 percent to $2.33 billion, helped by sales of its MitraClip device for minimally invasive treatment of a leaky heart valve.

“The decisions we made three, five, seven years ago – and the ones we’re making today – are driving positive long-term outlooks for all of our businesses,” said Chief Executive Officer Miles White.

The company, whose products range from medical devices to infant nutritional formula, posted net earnings of $672 million, or 38 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $418 million, or 23 cents per share.

Excluding items, Abbott earned 63 cents per share, ahead of the average analyst estimate of 61 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv

Net sales rose to $7.54 billion from $7.39 billion. Analysts had expected $7.47 billion.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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