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UPDATE 2-Abbott beats Street on strong medical device, generics sales

(Adds details on product approvals in the quarter, analyst comment; updates shares)

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Abbott Laboratories' profit and sales topped analysts' estimates on robust sales of medical devices and generic drugs, leading it to raise the high-end of its adjusted earnings forecast for the year.

Abbott had a string of medical device approvals in the quarter that will spur future growth at its largest unit, which saw sales rise 6.5 percent to $2.60 billion. The company also benefited from the recent St. Jude Medical acquisition.

"Strength in medical devices pulled this quarter ... recent product approvals puts Abbott in a good position," Raj Denhoy from Jefferies told Reuters.

Sales at the diversified healthcare company's established generics unit, which surged 16 percent, also helped the quarter.

Abbott forecast full-year adjusted 2017 profit from continuing operations of $2.48-$2.50 per share. It had earlier expected earnings per share of $2.43-$2.53.

The company's shares were trading marginally up at $55.45 before the bell on Wednesday.

Several devices received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals in the quarter, including Abbott's FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system and two of its heart devices - HeartMate 3 and Ellipse.

Excluding items, profit was 66 cents per share. Net sales rose to $6.83 billion from $5.30 billion.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 65 cents per share, on revenue of $6.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net earnings rose to $603 million, or 34 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from a loss of $329 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier, when it recorded a charge.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)