Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) reported its earnings before opening bell, meeting its guidance. The pharmaceutical company posted first-quarter profits of $544 million or 34 cents per share. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were 42 cents, which was toward the high end of the company’s guidance.

Abbott Laboratories

Consensus for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was earnings per share of 41 cents on revenue of $5.42 billion. During the same quarter a year ago, the company posted net earnings of $351 million or 22 cents per share.

“Strong performance in Nutrition and Diagnostics, as well as overall results in emerging markets, led our sales growth this quarter,” said Chairman and CEO Miles D. White. “We had significant new product and geographic expansion activity during the quarter that positions Abbott well for continued growth.”

Abbott reported a 3.5 percent increase in worldwide sales excluding foreign exchange. Sales also jumped 1.8 percent, including the 1.7 percent unfavorable effect of foreign exchange. The drug maker reported a 9 percent increase in operational sales for its Nutrition segment, including 14.8 percent growth internationally. It also posted a 6.4 percent operational sales growth for its Diagnostics segment.

In emerging markets, Abbott posted $2.2 billion in sales during the first quarter, a 15.2 percent increase operationally. The company said sales in emerging markets make up over 40 percent of its total sales.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) said it launched a number of new products and began some new clinical trials during the first quarter. The company said it launched 19 new products in its Nutrition segment, a piece of automation equipment for laboratories and several diagnostic tests on the Architect platform.

In this morning’s report the company also declared a quarterly common dividend of 14 cents per share, which is payable May 15 to shareholders on record on April 15.

As of the moment of this writing, shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) were down slightly pre-market.