Abbott profit beats forecast, nutrition brands offset weak device sales

July 17 Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:58am EDT

July 17 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday as strong demand for its nutritional products offset lower sales of medical devices and generic prescription drugs.

The company, which in January spun off its branded prescription drugs business into a new company called AbbVie Inc , earned $476 million, or 30 cents per share, from continuing operations, compared with $411 million, or 26 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding special items, Abbott earned 46 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected 44 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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