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With The Acquisition Of St. Jude Medical, Abbott Labs Has Secured The Future

Summary

ABT's extensive product line covers most areas of healthcare and could soon expand even further due to the recent acquisition of St. Jude Medical.

ABT's vascular care segment is now positioned to innovate heart health across several markets.

Growth opportunities are still very present within ABT's stock, as the need for heart healthy products and solutions expand.

It is no question that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, statistics from the CDC show that 1 in every 4 deaths in America is caused by heart disease. What’s more, patients continue to struggle to maintain a healthy heart, as they look to companies such as Abbott Laboratories and St. Jude Medical for help. Luckily, Americans have now recognized the importance of a healthy heart and are beginning to seek help from these types of companies.


Abbott’s Diverse Health Care Product Line

To begin, Abbott already does a fabulous job of touching all corners of the healthcare industry. Abbott currently has 6 main business segments, which include: nutrition, diagnostics, vascular care, vision, diabetes and pharmaceuticals. The company also targets all age groups by providing a complete line of milk based products for infants, teens and adults. However, we are not here to discuss all 6 segments in depth. Rather, the main focus of this article is the new relationship formed between Abbott and St. Jude and how it will drive Abbott’s stock price in the future.


Vascular Care

Abbott Labs has held a strong focus towards delivering non-invasive vascular products to patients in need of care. Within the vascular care portion of the business, Abbott further divides its vascular care segment into 4 main focus groups: coronary artery, peripheral artery, structural heart and atrial fibrillation. Let me bring your attention towards the atrial fibrillation section of the business. The company strives to develop solutions for heart arrhythmias, or most commonly known as atrial fibrillation, through their use of electrophysiology technology. St. Jude, too, utilizes this type of technology but offers a greater selection of products to healthcare professionals. In the near future, I can defintely see the two companies working with new forms of electrophysiology technology. With the recent hype over tech stocks and their notion of being “growth” only, it is difficult for non-tech companies to gain footing. Luckily, Abbott has been exploring new forms of technology that can help boost the company's efficiency and profits. The company now has a technological edge over competitors due to the immense background of technological products offered by St. Jude Medical.


One thing that the Abbott bears are ignoring over this acquisition is the simple fact the two companies line up perfectly when it comes to vascular health. As stated earlier, Abbott lends its attention to the peripheral artery portion of the heart. Abbott has a wide range of products for this matter, including various types of wires, catheters and stents. However, the company still lags in the technology area, which is where St. Jude fits in perfectly. To complement Abbott’s peripheral artery product line, St. Jude’s peripheral vascular embolization product, Amplatzer, is an innovative vascular plug that is designed to function much more efficiently. On top of that, St. Jude is leading the industry in advanced imaging software. St. Jude’s Intravascular Diagnostics and Imaging System provides detailed images and reports of the heart's function so that doctors can insert stents and wires more carefully. The company also provides wire sensors that connect to other medical devices which improve workflow in the lab.

What It All Comes Down To

Abbott has made great strides to compete with the growing industry of technology and heart health. The company’s structural heart products are already making lives easier for many patients with heart problems. However, it is through the use of technology that will allow Abbott to become an even greater leader in heart health. St. Jude Medical possess some of the most advanced technology and medical devices in the entire healthcare industry. Abbott’s ability to now work alongside with St. Jude will allow them the opportunity to gain insight on some of the world’s finest medical technology. With this new acquisition, I would not be surprised to see Abbott come out with new, innovative vascular products. The whole idea of expansion here is key. We want to be able to see Abbott tap into new markets and exploit new technology, all of which can be done now thanks to the brilliant acquisition of St. Jude. Though it may take a year or two for Abbott to see increasing revenues from their vascular care segment, we can ensure that Abbott is taking all of the right measures to drive profits and remain relevant - ultimately what any “growth” company would do.     

Disclosure: I am/we are long ABT.