Jan 8, 2019 - Health

Abbott Labs forecasts "solid" business in China

The headquarters sign of Abbott Vascular.

Abbott makes numerous medical products, including heart devices. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Abbott Laboratories collects about 10% of its estimated $30 billion in annual revenue from China, and the health care conglomerate, known for its medical devices and infant formula, has no concerns about its Chinese business in light of Apple's relatively dismal fourth-quarter projections.

What they're saying: "We're not $1,400 iPhones," Abbott CFO Brian Yoor said at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. "Health care is a very sticky, very good place to be."

The big picture: Apple is not China. Health care companies like Abbott also are not consumer brands like Apple or Nike.

  • Health care is mostly recession-proof, and this point holds in foreign countries. People still get heart surgeries or undergo chemotherapy regardless of the economy.
  • In the U.S., health care companies benefit from how the costs of things like medical devices, surgeries and hospital stays are baked into health insurance premiums — which come directly out of people's paychecks.
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