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Abbott cuts 2021 profit forecast on lower COVID-19 testing demand

The Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid tester is seen before a news conference, at a pop up COVID-19 vaccination sight at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, U.S., April 14, 2021. Mary Altaffer/Pool via REUTERS/Files

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories on Tuesday cut its full-year 2021 profit forecast due to a projected drop in COVID-19 diagnostic testing demand, sending its shares down 4.1% before the bell.

“This has been driven by several factors, including significant reductions in cases in the U.S. and other major developed countries, accelerated rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally and, most recently, U.S. health authority guidance on testing for fully vaccinated individuals,” the drugmaker said.

Abbott generated billions in sales for its COVID-19 tests last year, but analysts have cautioned that demand is likely to fall this year.

The company now expects full-year adjusted profit from continuing operations of $4.30 to $4.50 per share. It had forecast at least $5 per share in January. Analysts expect $5.04 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Abbott sees second-quarter adjusted profit from continuing operations of at least $1 per share, compared with analysts’ estimates of $1.23 per share.

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