Abbott Reports Double-Digit Sales and Earnings Growth in First Quarter and Reaffirms Full-Year Growth Outlook

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008.

"Abbott started 2008 with a strong first quarter, following double-digit sales and earnings growth last year," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "In addition, we received five key new product approvals during the quarter. The continued productivity of our late-stage pipeline, combined with the underlying strength of our broad mix of businesses, gives us a high level of confidence in our future growth outlook."

Abbott confirms earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2008 and issues earnings-per-share guidance for the second-quarter 2008

Abbott is confirming earnings-per-share guidance for the full-year 2008 of $3.20 to $3.25, and is providing earnings-per-share guidance of $0.78 to $0.80 for the second quarter, both excluding specified items. As previously announced, Abbott expects the TAP transaction to close in the second quarter and to be neutral to earnings per share in 2008 and neutral or better over the next five years.

Abbott forecasts specified items for the full-year 2008 of approximately $0.08 per share, including previously announced cost reduction initiatives. Including specified items, projected earnings per share under GAAP would be $3.12 to $3.17.

Abbott forecasts specified items for the second-quarter 2008 of approximately $0.03 per share, primarily associated with previously announced cost reduction initiatives. Including these specified items, projected earnings per share under GAAP would be $0.75 to $0.77.

Abbott increases quarterly dividend

On Feb. 15, 2008, the board of directors increased the company's quarterly common dividend to 36 cents per share, an increase of 10.8 percent. The cash dividend is payable May 15, 2008, to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 15, 2008. This marks the 36th consecutive year that Abbott has increased its dividend payout and the 337th consecutive dividend paid by Abbott.

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 more than 68,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at http://www.abbott.com. Abbott will webcast its live first-quarter earnings conference call through its Investor Relations Web site at http://www.abbottinvestor.com at 8 a.m. Central time today. An archived edition of the call will be available after 11 a.m. Central time.

Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to our Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, and are incorporated by reference. We undertake no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments.

SOURCE Abbott

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