Abbott Laboratories: A company I loved
At the beginning of this year, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) completed the spin-off of its branded pharmaceutical business. This business is now a separate publicly traded company, calling itself AbbVie Inc. (ABBV). I have long been a fan of Abbott Laboratories as a diversified health care company with operations in medical devices, diagnostics, branded pharmaceuticals and nutrition among other businesses. It’s been in business since 1888 and it’s been increasing its dividends for 40 years. Think about this: Abbott has paid 352 consecutive quarterly dividend payments since 1924! Before the company split, it was attractively valued, yielding over 3% and had an attractive balance sheet. Earnings had been growing at a healthy clip for as far back as I could track. There just wasn’t much to dislike here. It was one of my largest positions, and rightfully so.