Abbott Laboratories (ABT) — which is rated “A-” by our Weiss Ratings system — is a top conservative idea for 2022, suggests Mike Larson, editor of Safe Money Report.

Abbott is a Chicago-based company that offers medical testing, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, nutritional products and related services. You may be familiar with its Similac baby formula and Pedialyte beverages. It also makes FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring systems, Gallant implantable heart defibrillators and Influvac flu vaccines.

Abbott has also been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. But unlike vaccine providers such as Moderna (MRNA) and Pfizer (PFE), Abbott has been a leader in the rapid COVID-19 testing arena.

Its ID NOW molecular test and the BinaxNOW antigen test allow for faster diagnoses than other tests that require lab work. They were invaluable during the multiple pandemic waves seen since early 2020, and they’ll continue to be in high demand going forward.

That’s because employers, schools, sports leagues, governments and others are looking to get more workers back in the office and back on the field. Rapid testing will help that.

And again, Abbott isn’t a one-trick pony. That’s why third-quarter 2021 sales jumped more than 23% year over year to $10.9 billion. Moreover, driven by solid performance in all four business segments, adjusted earnings surged almost 43% to $1.40 per share.

Abbott paid a dividend of 45 cents per share per quarter as of late 2021. That was good for a yield of about 1.4% at its stock price back then. It was also up a hefty 26% from a year earlier.

Add in the fact that ABT has earned a “Buy” grade from our Weiss Ratings system since February 2018, and you can see why it’s at the top of my list of more conservative stocks to invest in for 2022.

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