Abbott - Winning almost two-thirds of the accounts

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Nov 16, 2020 9 min read
Abbott - Winning almost two-thirds of the accounts

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Founded in 1888, Abbott Laboratories is a global, diversified, healthcare company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceutical, diagnostic, nutritional, and hospital healthcare products. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, it is one of the top healthcare product makers in the United States.

Abbott employs 70,000 people worldwide, and it has 150 facilities and 60 manufacturing sites. The company focuses on advancing medical science and the practice of healthcare, and it has demonstrated expertise in the therapeutic areas of diabetes, pain management, respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, men and women's health, and pediatrics. Its products are sold in 130 countries.

Abbott - Company Highlights

Startup Name Abbott Laboratories
Headquarter Abbott Park, Illinois, United States
Industry Health care, Medical devices, Pharmaceutical
Founder Dr. Wallace Calvin Abbott
Founded 1888
CEO Robert Ford
URL www.abbott.com

Abbott - About and How it works?
Abbott - Logo and its meaning
Abbott - Founder and History
Abbott - Mission
Abbott - Business Model
Abbott - Revenue and Growth
Abbott - Funding and Investors
Abbott - Investments
Abbott - Acquisitions
Abbott - Competitors
Abbott - Challenges Faced
Abbott - Future Plans

Abbott - About and How it works?

Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and health care company with headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois, United States. The company was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888 to formulate known drugs; today, it sells medical devices, diagnostics, branded generic medicines and nutritional products. It split off its research-based pharmaceuticals business into AbbVie in 2013.

Its business operations are divided into four business divisions: Women's Health & Gastrointestinal, Gastroenterology and Hepatic Care; Speciality Care; GenNext & Vaccines, and Consumer Care. Women's Health & Gastrointestinal, Gastroenterology and Hepatic Care division has a mix of global and local brands present in the pregnancy, constipation and liver diseases segments. The Speciality Care division consists of a range of products in the treatment of central nervous system and metabolic disorders. The GenNext division focuses on several therapy areas, including pain management, vitamins and pregnancy.

Abbott - Logo and its meaning

Logo of Abbott
Logo of Abbott

The Abbott logo perfectly represents the strong character of the leading pharmaceutical corporation, showing the importance of innovations and development, along with the value of its clients and their wellbeing.

Abbott - Founder and History

Dr. Wallace Calvin Abbott is the founder of Abbott Laboratories.

Founder of Abbott Laboratories
Founder of Abbott Laboratories

Abbott was started by Dr Wallace C. Abbott, a practising physician. Dr. Abbott began producing alkaloid medicine in 1888 in the rear of his drug store in Chicago. He incorporated the Abbott Alkaloidal Company, a medical publisher and manufacturer, in 1894. The company expanded outside the US in 1907, adding an affiliate in London. It produced its first synthetic medicine, Chlorazine, for use in the First World War as an antiseptic.

Abbott had its initial public offering in 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression. Despite the unfortunate timing of the IPO, Abbott continued to expand over the following decades through entering new businesses such as vitamins and intravenous solutions.

It developed Pentothal, the world’s most widely used anaesthetic, in 1935. With the onset of the Second World War, Abbott was requested by the US Government to join a consortium of pharmaceutical manufacturers to support wartime efforts through the production of penicillin.

The late 1900s saw a revamping of the Abbott brand, with its iconic β€˜A’ logo being adopted in 1959. Its 1964 acquisition of M&R Dietetics made Abbott a world leader in nutrition, its largest business segment by sales at present. The introduction of a blood analyser and a radioimmunoassay test for detecting hepatitis in 1972 saw the entry of Abbott into the medical diagnostics business, another key business segment at present.

Another key achievement is the introduction of the first licensed test to identify serum HIV – a significant stepping stone in the fight against the disease.

The 2000s saw a series of significant acquisitions and expansions, including the opening of an R&D facility at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2009. Abbott also acquired Kos Pharmaceuticals for USD3.7 Billion in cash in 2007, Knoll, BASF’s pharmaceutical division, in 2001, the pharmaceuticals unit of Solvay in a deal worth USD6.2 Billion in 2010, and CFR, a Chilean generic drugs manufacturer, in a deal worth USD2.9 Billion that would see Abbott doubling its generic drug portfolio.

Abbott - Mission

Abbott's mission statement says, "At Abbott, we're all about helping you live the best life you can through good health. We keep your heart healthy, nourish your body at every stage of life, help you see clearly, and bring you information and medicines to manage your health."

This is done by advancing leading-edge science and technologies, valuing diversity, focusing on exceptional performance, earning the trust of consumers, and sustaining success.


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Abbott - Business Model

Abbott has four main business segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products, and Vascular Products.

  • Established Pharmaceutical Products – These are branded generic pharmaceuticals, including gastroenterology products, women’s health products, cardiovascular and metabolic products, pain and central nervous system products, and respiratory drugs and vaccines. These products are manufactured around the globe and are sold generally outside the US. This segment takes up 18% of sales.
  • Diagnostic Products – These are diagnostic systems and tests, including immunoassay and clinical chemistry systems, point-of-care diagnostic systems and cartridges for blood analysis, DNA and RNA extraction and processing instruments, genomic-based tests, informatics and automation solutions for laboratories, rapid pathogen identifying instruments, and haematology systems and reagents. These are produced, marketed, and sold worldwide. This segment takes up 23% of sales.
  • Nutritional Products – These include products both for infants and adults, including infant formula, enteral feeding products, and adult and other paediatric nutritional products. These are sold worldwide. This is its largest segment, taking up 34% of sales. It also takes up a significant proportion of global market share, with Abbott representing over 50% of global Adult Nutrition sales.
  • Vascular Products – There are a range of devices used for the heart and the vascular system in general, including various stents, vascular scaffolds, coronary balloons, coronary guide wires, mitral valve repair systems, and vessel closure devices. These are sold worldwide.

Abbott - Revenue and Growth

In 2000 the company's sales and net earnings were $13.7 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $1.78. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2001, sales rose 18 percent to $16.29 billion; net income fell 44 percent to $1.55 billion. The company's hospital and pharmaceutical segments have been receiving higher unit sales, which is reflected as higher revenues. Approximately $1.33 billion of its 2001 revenues went into research and development. Abbott Laboratories revenue for the twelve months ending September 30, 2020 was $32.221B, a 2.76% increase year-over-year.

Year Annual Revenue Percentage change
2019 $31.904B +4.34%
2018 $30.578B +11.64%
2017 $27.39B +31.35%

Abbott - Funding and Investors

Abbott has raised a total of $6.8M in funding over 2 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Mar 15, 2011 from a Debt Financing round.

Announced Date Transaction Name Amount
Mar 15, 2011 Debt Financing - Abbott $100K
Mar 16, 2009 Debt Financing - Abbott $6.7M

Abbott - Investments

Abbott has made 8 investments. Their most recent investment was on Jan 13, 2020, when Bigfoot Biomedical raised $55.1M.

Date Organization Name Round Amount
Jan 13, 2020 Bigfoot Biomedical Series C $55.1M
Aug 14, 2017 Alere Post IPO Equity -
Sep 8, 2015 SetPoint Medical Series C $15M
Aug 25, 2010 Respicardia Series C $27M
Nov 27, 2007 Evalve Series D $60M
Jan 13, 2007 Ovalis Series B $6.6M
Nov 6, 2005 Ovalis Series A $2.5M
Jan 12, 2004 Hydra Biosciences Series B $18.9M

Abbott - Acquisitions

Abbott has acquired 36 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Cephea Valve Technologies on Jan 16, 2019.

Acquiree Name Announced Date Amount About Acquired Company
Cephea Valve Technologies Jan 16, 2019 - Medical device company
St. Jude Medical Apr 28, 2016 $25B Medical device company
Kalila Medical Apr 6, 2016 - Medical device company
Alere Feb 2, 2016 $5.3B the Massachusetts-based point of care testing company
Tendyne Holdings Jul 31, 2015 $250M Medical device company
Veropharm Dec 12, 2014 $305M Russian pharmaceutical company
Topera Oct 29, 2014 $250M Medical device company
CFR Pharmaceuticals May 15, 2014 $2.9B Pharmaceutical Company
OptiMedica Jul 15, 2013 $400M Silicon Valley-based ophthalmic device company
IDEV Technologies Jul 15, 2013 $310M Houston medical device company

Abbott - Competitors

The top 10 competitors in Abbott's competitive set are Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, Merck, Medtronic, Philips, Bio-Rad, Quest Diagnostics, and Danaher.


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Abbott - Challenges Faced

  • The crises of the early 1970s left the company’s upper echelon of management weakened and vulnerable to criticism. Although Edward Ledder was recognized for the success of his diversification program (and largely excused for his inability to prevent either the cyclamate ban or the intravenous solution crisis), conditions were obviously ripe for the expression of talent by a new manager. Robert Schoellhorn, a veteran of the chemical industry, was just such a manager. His efforts as a vice-president in the hospital products division at Abbott resulted in a revenue increase of 139 percent for that division between 1974 and 1979. He correctly predicted that the next most profitable trend in health care would be toward cost-effective analysis and treatment. Schoellhorn was later promoted to president and chief operating officer of the company.
  • Abbott has faced lawsuits over its drug Tricor, FreeStyle diabetes products and St. Jude defibrillators. The company was also named co-defendant alongside AbbVie in lawsuits over the popular pharmaceutical drugs Humira and Depakote.

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Abbott - Future Plans

Abbott Labs is headed is to look at the products that it's most excited about today: FreeStyle Libre, MitraClip, and the Alinity systems.

FreeStyle Libre is a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, which doesn't require a finger stick. The product has been an enormous commercial success, and is likely to remain one for a long time to come. Abbott hopes to receive FDA approval to launch the next version of FreeStyle Libre in the U.S. in the near future. The new features on the device should make it attractive to customers and provide a big boost to sales.

MitraClip enables the minimally invasive treatment of mitral regurgitation, which is caused by a leaky heart valve. It's already the leading device used to treat that condition, but the FDA's recent approval for its use in a new indication (patients with mitral regurgitation resulting from underlying heart failure) has expanded its market opportunity.

The Alinity systems include a lineup of laboratory diagnostic instruments. CEO Miles White said in Abbott's Q1 conference call that the company is "winning almost two-thirds of the accounts where we're head-to-head with an entrenched competitor."

All three reflect a focus on internal innovation that drives Abbott Labs' organic growth. And that seems likely to be the story for the company for years to come.

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