Employees 2013: 69,000
Employees 2012: 91,000
% Change: -24.18
Revenues 2013: $21.8 billion
Revenues per employee 2013: $315,942
Abbott ($ABT) kicked off 2013 with a highly anticipated spinoff of its pharma unit into AbbVie ($ABBV). The restructuring accounts for the significant employee reduction for the year and explains why Abbott leads the list in percentage decline. By letting go of Humira, Abbott's blockbuster anti-inflammatory drug, the company took a gamble that CEO Miles White was pushing for since 2012.
The spinoff allowed Abbott to invest all its energy and resources into several key areas: diagnostics, nutritionals, branded generic pharmaceuticals and medical devices, an area that also saw cuts in 2013 to offset falling sales of some last-gen products. The tighter focus ostensibly made Abbott a safer bet for investors looking for a steadily growing company.
But Abbott wasn't done shaving its pharma business. It recently agreed to sell Mylan ($MYL) its portfolio of older drugs sold outside of the U.S., but in established markets. The $5.3 billion stock swap gives Abbott a 21% interest in a new, Netherlands-based company that Mylan will form to take advantage of a lower tax rate. Much of Abbott's recent success has been strategically found in emerging global markets instead.
Abbott has also targeted the little people, with its largest profit margin coming from infant formula sales through its highly successful nutrition department. The unit brought in $6.47 billion in 2013, despite a significant recall the company suffered in China.
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