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Abbott (ABT) Introduces New Next-Generation Infant Formula

Abbott Laboratories ABT recently launched the Similac 360 Total Care, the company's next generation of infant formula. The Similac 360 Total Care contains human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), major prebiotics structurally identical to those present in human breast milk.

Even though the benefits of breast milk are irreplaceable, some parents are unable to breastfeed, whether by choice or out of choice, leaving infant formula as the only nutritionally complete option for babies. With the launch of Similac 360 Total Care, Abbott is bringing the closest formula to breast milk ever (following the delivery of its first infant formula containing HMOs in 2016) to bridge the gap between breast milk and formula so that newborns get the required building blocks to learn, grow and thrive.

The Similac 360 Total Care is likely to bolster Abbott’s Pediatric Nutrition business.

Few Words on Similac 360 Total Care

The Similac 360 Total Care is the first and only infant formula in the United States to contain a combination of five different HMOs, which were previously found in breast milk only. This formula is intended to provide nutrition that promotes the health and development of the entire infant, including the developing immune system, digestive system and brain.

The Similac 360 Total Care will be available online at as well as at major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Target, both in-store and online.

Abbott’s Commitment to Infant Health

For more than two decades, Abbott scientists have researched HMOs in breast milk. Even though breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition, approximately 75% of parents introduce infant formula within the first six months of their child's life for various reasons. Abbott is devoted to standing by parents, regardless of their feeding decision. Per management, Abbott strives to provide parents with advanced products like Similac 360 Total Care as well as resources and information to help them with their feeding decisions.

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The launch of Similac 360 Total Care demonstrates Abbott's commitment to support health from infancy onward. This commitment supports Similac's Promises Project, the promise to support all parents regardless of their feeding choices via ongoing research, investment and innovation.

Industry Prospects

Per a report published in Fortune Business Insights, the global infant formula market is expected to see a CAGR of 10.6% from 2020 to 2027. Promising demand dynamics such as fertility rates and suboptimal breastfeeding rates, modernization and evolving lifestyle, the convenience of the product coupled with compositional enhancement, increasing research and development activities by key players and growing focus on infant care and nutrition, among other factors, are driving the market.

Given the substantial market prospects, Abbott’s recent launch of Similac 360 Total Care seems strategic.

Recent Notable Developments

In November 2021, Abbott and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) launched their first joint community health initiative in Columbus, OH. This community initiative is the first program to debut under the ADA's Health Equity Now platform. This program will be run in collaboration with the National Center for Urban Solutions (NCUS). Under this program, NCUS will provide health education and access to Abbott's FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring technology to about 150 Black adults living with diabetes in the Columbus community.

In the same month, the company released new, late-breaking data from the global Leadless II IDE study. This study assessed Abbott's investigational Aveir leadless pacemaker in patients with certain abnormal heart rhythms. The data from the study demonstrated that the Aveir device met its pre-specified primary endpoints and also suggested that, once authorized, the Aveir system could provide new benefits to patients who require the use of a pacemaker to treat slow heart rhythms. The data from the study has been submitted to the FDA, as the Aveir leadless pacemaker is currently evaluated for approval in the United States.

Share Price Performance

The stock has outperformed its industry over the past year. It has grown 19.3% compared with the industry’s 0.4% growth.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Abbott carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are GlaxoSmithKline plc GSK, Chemed Corporation CHE and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings or LabCorp LH.

GlaxoSmithKline, carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 5.8%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, delivering an average surprise of 15.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

GlaxoSmithKline has underperformed its industry over the past year. GSK has gained 16.1% against a 21.3% industry rise.

Chemed, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.7%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, delivering a surprise of 5.6%, on average.

Chemed has outperformed its industry over the past year. CHE has gained 5.8% against a 35.6% industry decline.

LabCorp, sporting a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10.6%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 25.7%.

LabCorp has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year. LH has gained 44.9% versus the industry’s 19.5% growth.

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