2 Healthcare Companies Building Stock Activity Ahead of Earnings Reports

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.44 per share, a rise of 10.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $4.65 per share, a rise of 11.5% from last year.

Last quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent, coming in at profit of $1.18 a share versus the estimate of net income of $1.17 a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates. On average, analysts predict $10.61 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 6.4% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $39.03 billion for the year, a rise of 11% from last year’s revenue of $35.17 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX), and Sanofi-Aventis SA (NYSE:SNY).

Varian Medical Systems Inc. (NYSE:VAR) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 76 cents per share, a decline of 5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 89 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 76 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 15.1% versus last year to $3.96.

The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with forecasts the quarter prior. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it reported profit of 95 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 97 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported net income of 83 cents per share. Analysts are projecting a rise of 9.2% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $633.3 million.

Competitors to Watch: Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ:ARAY), TomoTherapy Incorporated (NASDAQ:TOMO), North American Scientific, Inc. (NASMQ), Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX), Theragenics Corporation (NYSE:TGX), BSD Medical Corporation (NASDAQ:BSDM), iCAD, INC. (NASDAQ:ICAD), DGT Holding corp (DGTCD), IsoRay, Inc. (AMEX:ISR), and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE).