AbbVie Inc. shares rose nearly 3% in premarket trade Thursday after the company reported first-quarter profit and revenue beats and announced plans to buy back up to $7.5 billion in shares. Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $2.78 billion, or $1.74 per share, from $1.71 billion, or $1.06 per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings-per-share were $1.87, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.79. Revenue rose to $7.93 billion from $6.54 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $7.60 billion. Humira, Imbruvica, Lupron, Creon, Synagis, AndroGel, Duodopa and Sevoflurane sales came in above consensus, while Synthroid and Kaletra sales missed the FactSet consensus. AbbVie also raised its adjusted EPS forecast for 2018 from $7.33 to $7.43 to $7.66 to $7.76. The company also plans to buy back up to $7.5 billion in shares, part of a previously-announced $10 billion share buyback program announced earlier this year, and which it expects to begin as early as May 1. AbbVie shares have plummeted 25% over the last three months, compared with an 8% drop in the S&P 500 and a 9.5% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .
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