AbbVie hikes forecast, tops Street expectations

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Drugmaker AbbVie surprised Wall Street with a third-quarter performance that turned out much better than expected and provided a new 2014 forecast that extends well beyond what analysts predict.

The maker of the Chrohn's disease treatment Humira says it now expects earnings excluding one-time items to range between $3.25 and $3.27 per share in 2014. That's up from its previous forecast for $3.06 to $3.16 per share.

FactSet says analysts expect $3.17 per share, on average.

AbbVie Inc. also reported adjusted earnings of 89 cents per share in the third quarter.

Zacks Investment Research says analysts had forecast 78 cents per share, on average.

Humira is the world's top-selling drug. Sales for it climbed 18 percent in the quarter to about $3.3 billion.

AbbVie shares are climbing 4 percent in premarket trading.