This is the plan?

This is the plan?

Diabetic Investor often wonders if CEO’s actually believe what they are reading when they report earnings or are they merely going through the motions not paying too close attention to what’s being said. We mention this today as it was Abbott’s (NYSE:ABT) turn to report earnings with their chairman and chief executive officer Miles White leading off the call with an overview of the “new” Abbott, which sounded very much like the “old” Abbott.  Now Diabetic Investor cannot comment on Abbott’s businesses outside of their diabetes franchise but if they run their other units like they run diabetes unit they have some serious problems.

Back on the 10th of the month Diabetic Investor published a piece entitled; “The more things change, the more they stay the same” during which we noted we were less than impressed with the new FreeStyle® InsuLinx glucose monitor. Well guess what?  According to Miles this product is the cornerstone of the company’s diabetes strategy along with ….. wait for it….. the FreeStyle Navigator which the company expects to launch in Europe in late 2014. Frankly its statements such as these that make us wonder why the heck we get up early in the morning to listen to this crap. It also makes us wonder whether Miles, who supposed to be a smart guy, truly believes this or is just reading a script written by someone else.

This is the new Abbott?  The plan for the diabetes is yet another meter, a substandard meter to boot, targeted at insulin using patients plus a continuous glucose monitoring system that was pulled from the US market has no presence anywhere in the world re-launched in Europe two years from now.  You’ve got to be kidding.

For years Diabetic Investor has been trying to decide which management team is dumber Roche or Abbott. Given the many blunders by both companies a strong case could be made that it’s actually a tie. After all, Roche has seen their market share shrink consistently and it takes real talent to turn a billion dollar franchise into a million dollar franchise. Roche also has blown another billion or so with their attempt to be a player in the insulin pump market.

Yet it’s hard to ignore Abbott who’s now run not one but two glucose monitoring companies into the ground, totally screwed up what was considered the best CGM system and paid tons of money for an insulin pump that was approved by the FDA but never launched.  Yet unlike Roche who at least has come out with decent new products, Abbott is compounding previous mistakes by coming out with substandard new products while at the same trying to bring back to life an already very dead Navigator. Honestly trying to reanimate dead tissue didn’t work all that well for Dr. Frankenstein and given Abbott’s history with the Navigator it just might be better not to try.

Like we’ve said before it’s only January and we already have a host of companies lining up to receive a Wacky Wabbit with Abbott moving to the top of the list.