Skip to Main Content

About Alere San Diego, Inc.

With activities ranging from filling baby bottles to making generic medications and cardiovascular devices, Abbott Laboratories is a diverse health care products manufacturer. Its cardiovascular and neuromodulation segment makes products for cardiac rhythm management, electrophysiology, and other areas of cardiovascular care. Abbott's diagnostics division makes laboratory testing systems and point-of-care tests. The nutritional products division makes such well-known brands as Similac infant formula and Ensure supplements. Abbott also sells branded generic medicines (including gastroenterology and women's health products) in emerging markets and makes the FreeStyle diabetes care line.


Abbott operates in four reportable segments: Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation, Nutritional Products, Diagnostic Products, and Established Pharmaceutical Products. 

A global leader in cardiovascular product sales, the Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation segment is Abbott's largest, bringing in about 30% of total sales. It researches and manufactures devices in the areas of cardiac rhythm management, heart failure, electrophysiology, vascular disease, and structural repair, as well as neuromodulation devices to treat movement and chronic pain disorders. Products include Assurity and Endurity pacemakers, MitraClip valve repair systems, XIENCE drug-eluting stents, and TactiCath and FlexAbility ablation catheters.

The Diagnostics segment (about 25% of total sales) makes laboratory systems that screen and diagnose for cancer, cardiovascular disease, fertility, and infectious diseases, among others. It also makes rapid diagnostics systems for infectious diseases and other conditions; point-of-care testing systems; molecular diagnostics for genetic (DNA and RNA) and genomic testing; and laboratory informatics and automation tools.

The Nutritional Products segment (25% of revenue) sells pediatric and adult formulations around the world. Brands include Similac, Ensure, Isomil, Glucerna, PediaSure, and Zone Perfect. The segment also provides nutritional products used for enteral feeding in health care facilities.

Abbott's Established Pharmaceutical Products (some 15% of sales) are branded generics marketed in emerging markets. These include gastroenterology drugs (such as Creon, Duspatel, and Heptral), women's health products (Duphaston and Femoston), cardiovascular and metabolic offerings (Lipanthyl, Teveten, and Synthroid, among others), pain and central nervous system medications (Serc, Brufen, and Sevedol), and respiratory drugs and vaccines (Influvac, Biaxin, Klacid, and Klacirid).

The group's Other segment, which brings in around 5% of revenue, includes Abbott's Diabetes Care operations.

Geographic Reach

Abbott Park, Illinois-based Abbott has about 95 manufacturing plants, as well as R&D facilities, in countries around the globe including Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

The company's products are sold in more than 160 countries, allowing the company to reduce dependence on any specific market. Abbott earns about 35% of its revenues in the US. Other major markets include China, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, each accounting for around 5% of sales.

Sales and Marketing

Abbott conducts distribution operations both from its own distribution centers and through third-party partners. Established pharmaceutical and nutritional customers include health care organizations, wholesalers, pharmacies, retailers, government agencies, consumers, and third-party distribution entities. Diagnostic and cardiovascular and neuromodulation products are sold to blood banks, hospitals, surgery centers, physicians, medical labs, plasma protein therapeutic companies, government agencies, alternative testing sites, and commercial laboratories.

Financial Performance

Acquisitions drove a 50% spike in Abbott's annual revenue over the past five years. Expansion centered on the Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation segment and the Diagnostics segment, most notably through the 2017 purchases of St. Jude Medical and Alere. Net income remained positive but has fluctuated significantly from year to year as the company restructured to focus on core growth areas.

Revenue rose 12% to $30.6 billion in 2018, up from $27.4 billion the prior year. Diagnostics sales increased 34% as the unit reported full-year results from the October 2017 Alere acquisition (boosting rapid diagnostics sales), as well as higher core laboratory and molecular product sales. The Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation segment grew 6% on higher sales of electrophysiology, structural heart, and neuromodulation products. Established Pharmaceutical Product sales rose 7%, driven by double-digit growth in India and China, while the Nutritionals division reported 4% growth on strong sales in the US and several Asian markets.

Net income rose 400% to some $2.4 billion in 2018 following a sharp drop the previous year as the company posted strong revenue growth and regained balance between earnings and expenses. Income had declined 66% to $477 million in 2017 due to higher operating expenses related to the St. Jude acquisition and higher taxes on foreign subsidiary earnings (a result of the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).

Abbott ended 2018 with $3.8 billion in cash, down $5.6 billion from 2017. Operating activities contributed $6.3 billion, while investing activities used $1.4 billion (mostly on acquisitions of property and equipment), and financing activities used $10.4 billion on debt repayments.


Abbott has shuffled its business portfolio over the past decade to keep pace with modern medical needs, striving to achieve #1 or #2 positions in core markets. More than half of 2018 sales came from businesses and products added over the past six years.

In addition to completing large acquisitions, Abbott has stayed ahead of the competition by developing and launching a steady stream of new products across its business segments. Recent product launches in the Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation segment include the Advisor HD Grid Mapping Catheter (Sensor Enabled), a next-generation MitraClip valve repair device, and the XIENCE Sierra coronary stent.

Recent R&D efforts in the Diagnostics segment include the roll-out of its suite of next-generation Alinity diagnostic systems, which the company sees as laboratory game-changers in efficiency and productivity. Abbott expanded manufacturing capacity for the Alinity line in 2018, along with capacity for its Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring system (part of the Diabetes Care business). The company is also focused on expanding sales of Nutritional and Established Pharmaceutical products in emerging markets including China and India, as well as Nutritionals in the US.

The company is working to pay down debt, which rose to some $27.9 billion after the 2017 acquisitions of St. Jude Medical and Alere. Debt was reduced by about $8.3 billion in 2018 as the company executed a successful cash-flow improvement initiative, but a high level of indebtedness leaves the group somewhat strapped for cash, which could create problems if market or business conditions arise that require capital investment.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The company's operations were changed significantly through two key acquisitions made in 2017. Abbott became one of the world's largest makers of cardiovascular devices when it bought St. Jude Medical in a deal valued at $23.6 billion. St. Jude Medical was combined with Abbott's Vascular Products segment to create the new Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation segment. The company also significantly boosted its Diagnostics division through the acquisition of Alere for $4.5 billion. 

Company Background

Dr. Wallace Abbott started making his dosimetric granule (a pill that supplied uniform quantities of drugs) at his home outside Chicago in 1888. The company was incorporated as Abbott Alkaloidal Company in 1894 and changed its name to Abbott Laboratories in 1915.

During WWI, Abbott scientists synthesized anesthetics previously available only from Germany. Abbott expanded its research capacity, products, and sales force and went public in 1929. International operations began in the mid-1930s with branches in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and the UK. Abbott contributed to the WWII effort by ratcheting up US production of penicillin. It later developed antibiotic erythromycin. Consumer, infant, and nutritional products joined the roster in the 1960s, diagnostic equipment followed in the 1970s.

The company spun off its proprietary pharmaceutical products division, including top-selling autoimmune drug Humira (the first fully-human monoclonal antibody drug approved by the FDA in 2002), into AbbVie in 2013.

To focus on cardiovascular and diagnostic operations, Abbott sold its Abbott Medical Optics subsidiary to Johnson & Johnson for $4.3 billion in early 2017.

Alere San Diego, Inc.

San Diego, CA 92121-2997
Phone: 1 (858) 455-4808

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Research Scientist: Uday Veeramallu
Employees (This Location): 1,003
Employees (All Locations): 1,003

Major Office Locations

San Diego, CA