Abbott Labs and Wellpoint Shares Trade Lower After Earnings

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Abbott Laboratories rose to $1.62 billion ($1.02 per share) vs. $1.44 billion (92 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 12.4% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 4.1% to $10.38 billion from the year earlier quarter. ABT reported adjusted net income of $1.45 per share. By that measure, the company was about in line with expectations as the mean analyst estimate was $1.44 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $10.61 billion.

“Despite another challenging year for the global economy, Abbott again delivered leading performance, including strong sales and ongoing earnings-per-share growth,” said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. “2011 was a significant year for Abbott, with the announced plan to separate into two leading health care companies in research-based pharmaceuticals and diversified medical products, each offering shareholders distinct identities with unique investment opportunities. We remain on track to complete the separation by the end of 2012.” The following is a summary of fourth-quarter 2011 sales by major business category.

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).

Wellpoint Inc. (NYSE:WLP) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the health care plans company fell to $335.3 million (96 cents per share) vs. $548.8 million ($1.40 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 38.9% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 4.8% to $15.32 billion from the year earlier quarter. WLP reported adjusted net income of 99 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of $1.11 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $15.41 billion.

“Our fourth quarter results were at the high end of our guidance range and concluded a successful 2011. During the year, we added 928,000 new medical members and achieved financial results that were in-line or better than we expected in most of our businesses. We also created a more efficient organization and executed on a number of strategic initiatives as we prepare to capitalize on the important future growth opportunities we see in the marketplace,” said Angela F. Braly, chair, president and chief executive officer. “We have the right strategies in place to continue improving the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities. We are looking forward to delivering even more health care value in 2012 and continue to expect long-term growth and success.”

Competitors to Watch: CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), HealthSpring, Inc (NYSE:HS), Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH), Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), and Triple-S Management Corp. (NYSE:GTS).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com