UPDATE 1-Johnson & Johnson beats Q4 forecasts as drug sales soar
Jan 21 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson reported quarterly results that came in above Wall Street estimates on sharply higher sales of its prescription drugs and improving sales of its medical devices. The diversified healthcare company said on Tuesday it earned $3.52 billion, or $1.23 per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with $2.57 billion, or 91 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, when J&J took a charge of $800 million related mostly to recalls of defective "metal-on-metal" hip replacement devices. Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.24 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. J&J said it expects earnings this year of $5.75 to $5.85 per share, excluding special items. Wall Street has been expecting earnings of $5.85 per share. Company shares were up 0.9 percent in premarket trading, from their closing price on Friday of $95.06.