Less than a week after the Department of Justice opened a criminal probe into conduct at an Abbott Laboratories’ infant formula plant in Sturgis, Michigan, the company released its latest earnings report.

Abbott reported $10.1 billion in sales for Q4 2022, down 12% year-over-year due to a decline in COVID-19 testing-related sales. The company noted that excluding its COVID-19 testing-related sales and U.S. infant formula sales, its full-year sales increased 1.9%. 

The infant formula controversy weighed on the company’s top-line growth as total worldwide Nutrition and Pediatric Nutrition sales were negatively impacted by the manufacturing disruptions during the earlier part of 2022. 

For the full-year, pediatric nutrition sales slipped 19% overall, including 28.7% in the U.S. Domestic sales of certain infant formula products affected by the manufacturing disruptions totaled $479 million for 2022, down from $1.22 billion for 2021.

Additionally, Abbott’s earnings per share was $0.59 in Q4 2022, while the full-year EPS was $3.91. 

Looking ahead, Abbott projects full-year organic sales growth in the high-single digits, excluding COVID-19 testing-related sales. 

“We significantly exceeded the EPS guidance we provided at the beginning of last year despite challenging global business conditions,” Abbott CEO Robert Ford said in a statement. “Our R&D pipeline continues to be highly productive with several recent and upcoming new product launches that position us well going forward.”

The infant formula production stoppage as well as the voluntary recall of Similac and other formula products brought Abbott to headline-news status and continues to linger as an issue for the company nearly one year later.

The abrupt manufacturing halt, instituted after several complaints of a serious bacterial infection including the report of a baby’s death after consuming infant formula produced at the Sturgis facility, lasted from February to July. It was a critical factor in a severe nationwide shortage of infant formula that caused panic among parents nationwide for months. 

Subsequently, the Food and Drug Administration announced an investigation into reports of multiple fatal cases related to the contaminated infant formula. The DOJ’s ongoing probe was confirmed to The Washington Post last week by an Abbott spokesperson who noted that the company is “cooperating fully.”