Abbott Labs at Barclays Conference Notes

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Brian Yoor – Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

First priority is to pay down our debt

“I think right now in the short-term, our big focus is debt repayment. I think the audience absolutely got it right. We come out of the gates this year, and doing the St. Jude acquisition with about $28 billion; so it’s going to be in our best interest to pay down as much as we can as quickly as possible. As part of our deleveraging plans, we feel very comfortable about what we’re doing. We’ve enacted several cash flow initiatives that span, what you’d call, the cash conversion cycle of days on hand, day sales outstanding and even days payable, where there’s opportunities for us to unlock a little bit of otherwise the cash that’s not productive to us today. We’ve sharpened what was already very disciplined capital expenditure process as well. And so, bringing down debt has many advantages. It brings back the flexibility that we want longer-term to do the capital allocation that you’ve been accustom to; we’ll continue to growing the dividend; looking at the tuck-in acquisitions, as you mentioned. But the first priority is to pay down the debt and bring back our strategic flexibility, lower our interest expense and bring more of the enterprise value back to our shareholders.”