Abbott Laboratories ABT
Q4 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/25/2012

Operator: Welcome to Abbott's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be able to listen-only until the question-and-answer portion of this call. Should you become disconnected throughout this conference call, please dial 1-517-308-9049 and reference the Abbott Earnings Call. 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 expressed written permission.

I would now like to introduce Mr. John Thomas, Vice President, Investor Relations and Public Affairs.

John B. Thomas - VP, IR and Public Affairs: Thank you. Good morning, and thanks for joining us everybody. Also on today's call will be Miles White, our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer; Tom Freyman, Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer; and Larry Peepo, Divisional Vice President of Investor Relations.

Miles will provide his opening remarks and Tom will review the details of our fourth quarter results as well as our outlook for 2012. I'll then discuss the highlights of our major businesses. Following our comments Miles, Tom, Larry and I will take your questions.

Some statements made today maybe forward-looking, including the planned separation of the research-based pharmaceutical company from the diversified medical products company and the expected financial results of the two companies after separation. Abbott cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.

Factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A Risk Factors to our Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and are incorporated by reference. We undertake obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments.

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 measure in our earnings news release and regulatory filings from today which will be available on our website at

So, with that, I will turn the call over to Miles. Miles?

Miles D. White - Chairman and CEO: Thanks John. Good morning. This morning, I'll review our 2011 performance as well as our outlook for 2012 and Tom and John will walk you through the details of our fourth quarter and our full year results as well as our 2012 outlook and then we'll take your questions.

As you can see from our earnings news release, Abbott reported another year of strong performance in 2011 despite what's been another challenging year for the healthcare industry and for the global economy. We managed through these challenges as we've always done and delivered full year ongoing EPS growth of nearly 12%.

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