Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 29, 2015 • 09:00 am ET

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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good morning, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to Abbott's Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be able to listen-only until the question-and-answer portion of this call. (Operator Instructions) This call is being recorded by Abbott.

With the exception of any participant's questions asked during the question-and-answer session, the entire call, including the question-and-answer session, is material copyrighted by Abbott. It cannot be recorded or rebroadcast without Abbott's express written permission.

I would now like to introduce Mr. Brian Yoor, VP, IR.

Executive
Brian Yoor

Okay. Good morning, and thank you for joining us. With me today are Miles White, Chairman of the Board and CEO; and Tom Freyman, our EVP, Finance and CFO. Miles will provide opening remarks and Tom and I will discuss our performance in more detail. Following our comments, Miles, Tom and I will take your questions.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

Note that financial results from the developed markets branded, generics, pharmaceuticals and animal health businesses are reported as discontinued operations due to the pending sale of these businesses.

As a result, the line items of our consolidated statement of earnings are reported as continuing operations or excluding the results of these two businesses. To help facilitate year-over-year comparisons, we filed an 8-K on Tuesday of this week that provides historical results from Abbott's continuing operations for the first three quarters of 2014. In addition, our 2015 guidance provided today for sales, P&L line items and earnings per share is for continuing operations only.

In today's conference call as in the past, non-GAAP financial measures will be used to help investors understand Abbott's ongoing business performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are reconciled with the comparable GAAP financial measures in our earnings news release and regulatory filings from today, which will be available on our website at abbott.com. Our commentary on sales growth refers to operational sales growth, which excludes the impact of foreign exchange unless otherwise noted.

With that, I will now turn the call over to Miles.

Executive
Miles White

Okay. Thanks, Brian. Good morning. Today, I'll discuss our results for the fourth quarter of 2014, but in particular our outlook for 2015.

We made good progress against our objectives last year and we see good positive underlying momentum in our businesses going into 2015. However, as you know, recent macroeconomic events have dominated the discussion on company outlooks for 2015 in particular the significant strengthening of the dollar against almost every currency during the fourth quarter of 2014 and in the 2015, as well as the impact of the decline of price of oil on the global economic outlook.

These factors will affect the 2015 forecast for most multinational companies, including Abbott, but while many are focused on the negative aspects of these events, I'd note that they will impact countries and companies in different ways.

Abbott will clearly face some headwinds, while emerging markets currencies have devalued, however underlying fundamental growth remained strong. In fact countries such as India and China where Abbott has a strong presence