(Adds details on earnings, share price)
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories reported a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday, hurt by higher tax expense on earnings.
Shares of the company, whose products range from nutritional products to glucose monitoring devices, fell 2.1 percent to $69.51 in premarket trading.
The company's adjusted profit was in line with analysts' expectations as a drop in sales at its established pharmaceuticals business was offset by growth in its medical device segment, its largest unit. New device launches and demand for its glucose monitoring products helped the unit raking in $2.82 billion in revenue, leading to 12.1 percent rise in overall sales in the quarter.
However, the pharmaceuticals business, which sells generic drugs in emerging markets such as India and China, fell nearly 1 percent to $1.16 billion, hurt by a strong dollar.
The company said net earnings fell to $563 million, or 32 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $603 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Abbott earned 75 cents per share, in line with the average analyst estimate, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.
Net sales rose to $7.66 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $7.65 billion.
Abbott also forecast 2018 adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations to be in the range of $2.87 to $2.89, compared with its previous range of $2.85 to $2.91 per share. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)