NEW YORK — Abbott announced before the market opened on Wednesday that its first quarter Diagnostics business revenues grew 32 percent year over year.
For the three months ended March 31, Abbott reported overall Q1 revenues of $11.90 billion, up 14 percent from $10.46 billion in Q1 of 2021 and beating analysts' average estimate of $10.99 billion.
On an organic basis, revenues grew nearly 18 percent year over year, the Abbott Park, Illinois-based firm said.
The firm reported its Diagnostics segment revenues grew to $5.29 billion from $4.01 billion a year ago. Within Diagnostics, core laboratory revenues were essentially flat year over year at $1.18 billion. Meanwhile, its molecular diagnostics revenues fell 6 percent to $420 million from $447 million in Q1 2021. Point-of-care revenues were down 1 percent to $128 million from $129 million, and rapid diagnostic revenues increased 58 percent to $3.55 billion from $2.26 billion.
Both core laboratory and molecular diagnostics revenues were impacted by year-over-year declines in COVID-19 testing-related sales, the firm said.
COVID-19 testing sales were $3.3 billion for the quarter. More than 90 percent of COVID-19 testing-related sales came from rapid diagnostic tests, including BinaxNow, PanBio, and IDNow, Abbott CEO Robert Ford said on a conference call to discuss the firm's financial results. He noted that the company saw strong COVID-19 sales both in the US and internationally and that the routine diagnostics business was improving as well.
Excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales, worldwide sales increased 4 percent. Without COVID-19 testing sales, core laboratory revenues increased 2 percent year over year and molecular diagnostics revenues increased 25 percent. Total diagnostic sales grew 12 percent excluding COVID-19 testing, driven by the continued rollout of the company's Alinity platform and expanding menus across its testing platforms, Ford said.
In other business segments, Abbott's Q1 Nutrition revenues fell 7 percent to $1.89 billion from $2.04 billion; Established Pharmaceuticals revenues increased 7 percent to $1.15 billion from $1.07 billion; and Medical Devices revenues also rose 7 percent at $3.57 billion from $3.32 billion.
Abbott reported net earnings of $2.45 billion, or $1.37 per share, in Q1 compared to $1.79 billion, or $1.00 per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted EPS was $1.73, beating the analysts' consensus estimate of $1.47.
The firm spent $697 million on R&D in Q1, up 7 percent from $654 million in Q1 2021, and logged $2.79 billion in SG&A expenses, essentially flat from $2.78 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Ford said that challenges in the broader economic landscape, such as supply chain issues and inflation, have impacted the business, although COVID-19 testing-related sales were absorbing some of those challenges. CFO Bob Funck added that the largest impacts had been on logistics, commodities, and other manufacturing inputs.
Abbott said it is projecting full-year 2022 EPS from continuing operations of at least $3.35. Adjusted EPS from continuing operations for the year is anticipated to be at least $4.70. Funck said on the call the company expects total organic sales growth excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales to be in the mid-to-high single digits, slightly lower than previously forecast due to a product recall in the firm's Nutrition business. Excluding effects from that recall and COVID-19 sales, organic sales growth across the rest of the segments is expected to be in the high-single digits.
Projected COVID-19 testing-related sales for 2022 are $4.5 billion, which the firm expects to mainly occur in the first half of the year.
In Wednesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Abbott were up nearly 3 percent at $123.05.