(Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories reported better than expected quarterly earnings despite disrupted sales of its infant formulas in China, helped by cost cuts and lower taxes.
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Abbott shares rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading.
The company, which spun off its branded prescription drugs business in January into a separate publicly traded company called AbbVie Inc, on Wednesday reported third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $773 million, or 49 cents per share. That compared with $339 million, or 21 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding special items, Abbott earned 55 cents per share. Analysts, on average, had expected 51 cents per share.
Global company revenue rose 2 percent to $5.37 billion, a bit shy of Wall Street forecasts of $5.39 billion.
Despite beating earnings forecasts in the quarter, Abbott stuck to its prior full-year profit view of $1.98 per share to $2.04 per share, excluding special items.
But the suburban Chicago company, which also makes diagnostics, medical devices and generic medicines, said it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 57 percent to 22 cents per share from 14 cents, starting with the February 15 payment.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
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