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Business is booming for health care companies. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

With more than a week to go in the second-quarter earnings season, the health care industry has already banked more profits than any other quarter in the past year.

The bottom line: Company after company has posted profits that have exceeded Wall Street estimates, and most firms have raised profit estimates for the rest of 2018.

By the numbers: As of Aug. 2, 85 publicly traded health care companies have amassed $47 billion of global profit on $545 billion of global revenue in the second quarter, according to company documents.

  • That profit is higher than the $45.6 billion that 118 health care companies posted in the first quarter of this year, and it's higher than anything recorded in the past year.
  • Pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in the highest profit margins.
  • The numbers do not include not-for-profit hospital systems, which have not filed second-quarter reports yet.
  • Fatter profits are due in part to growing sales of prescription drugs, medical devices, tests and procedures — that reflects both higher prices and more quantities sold.
  • But the larger earnings also stemmed from Republicans' massive cut in corporate taxes. The income tax expense for drug giant AbbVie, for example, was 93% lower in the second quarter this year.

Go deeper: Check out the entire Axios health care earnings tracker.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
28 mins ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

Biden condemns Russian aggression on 7th anniversary of Crimea annexation

Putin giving a speech in Sevastapol, Crimea, in 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for the people of Ukraine and vowed to hold Russia accountable for its aggression in a statement on Friday, the 7th anniversary of Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Why it matters: The statement reflects the aggressive approach Biden is taking to Russia, which he classified on the campaign trail as an "opponent" and "the biggest threat" to U.S. security and alliances.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

What's really going on with the labor market

Source: YCharts

The labor market is showing some signs of improvement: Jobless claims fell to 730,000 — a dramatic drop from 841,000 the previous week. And the latest jobs report showed a pandemic-era low unemployment rate of 6.3%

But, but, but: That's not the full story, experts say.

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