UPDATE 2-Abbott profit beats on strong demand for COVID-19 tests
(Adds estimates, share movement)
Jan 27 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories Inc forecast profit for the current year above Wall Street estimates after brisk sales of its COVID-19 test kits helped the company double its earnings and top Wall Street estimates.
With the COVID-19 pandemic showing little signs of slowing, companies such as Abbott have benefited from a quick roll out of test kits, which are easy to use and are known to provide quick results.
The company currently has eight different COVID-19 tests that have been authorized for emergency use by U.S. health regulators and sold more than 300 million of them in the fourth quarter.
Sales at its diagnostics business soared nearly 110% to $4.35 billion in the fourth quarter, nearly half of which came from COVID-19 tests.
The Illinois-based company said it was continuing to launch and scale up manufacturing for its tests.
Sales at its diabetes unit rose 29% on strong demand for its glucose monitoring device, FreeStyle Libre.
However, demand for cardiac and neuromoulation devices was weak as people deferred elective surgical procedures due to the pandemic.
The company forecast full-year adjusted earnings of $5 per share above analysts' estimates of $4.37, reflecting a 35% rise from the prior year.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $10.7 billion, above the average analyst estimate of $9.94 billion.
Excluding items, Abbott earned $1.45 per share, beating estimates of $1.34 per share.
Shares of the company were up 1.2% at 116.20 in trading before the bell. (Reporting by Mrinalika Roy and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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