Wednesday, January 07, 2004

More From Our Friends at Abbott

After I posted about Abbott Pharmaceuticals raising the price of one of their AIDS drugs, my Significant Otter did some poking around at Abbott's financials. They're crying poverty to the people who are now expected to pay 400% more for ritonavir, but that's not what they're telling their investors:
In 2002, Abbott achieved record sales and net earnings of $17.7 billion and $3.2 billion, respectively, with diluted earnings per share of $2.06, excluding nonrecurring charges. Abbott also recorded its 316th consecutive quarterly dividend to be paid to shareholders since 1924. In addition, 2002 marked the 30th straight year Abbott's dividends have increased. The company's Pharmaceutical Products Group - which includes U.S. pharmaceuticals, specialty products and international sales of pharmaceutical, nutritional and hospital products - generated sales of nearly $10 billion.
A nice spreadsheet summary of their 2002 finances can be found here. Note that research and development expenses represented 8.8% of net sales. Their gross profit margin was 51.9%. The return on investment to their shareholders was 28.3%. Sure, that's a lower ROI than shareholders in the late nineties could expect. You can't expect to get a 43% ROI these days, any more than you can expect to pay less than $26 a day for ritonavir. Things are tough all over.

Thanks to the fine Significant Otter and his mighty research skills.