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Johnson & Johnson Profit Falls, But Beats Forecast

Johnson & Johnson's third-quarter profit fell 6 percent because larger overhead and production costs and a one-time charge offset higher foreign sales.

Johnson & Johnson
AP
Johnson & Johnson

The health-care giant said Tuesday that net income was $3.2 billion, or $1.15 per share. That's down from $3.42 billion, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a 9-cent charge for the pending acquisition of medical device maker Synthes, net income would have been $3.4 billion, or $1.24 per share.

The maker of baby products and biologic drugs had revenue totaling $16 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings per share of $1.21 and sales of $16.02 billion. Their estimates generally exclude one-time items.

J&J , based in New Brunswick, N.J., raised the low end of its 2011 profit forecast, to betweem $4.95 and $5 per share, from its earlier forecast of $4.90 to $5 per share. Both sets of figures exclude one-time items.

Sales in all three J&J divisions — prescription drugs, consumer health care and medical devices and diagnostics — were down in the U.S.

U.S. prescription drug revenue fell 6 percent, mainly due to generic competition for antibiotic Levaquin and the Duragesic pain patch. The consumer business declined 4.5 percent as a two-year-long stretch of product recalls, mainly nonprescriptin medicines made by its McNeil Consumer Healthcare Business, kept Tylenol, Motrin and other products off store shelves.

But international revenue rose 16.4 percent, with stronger results in all three divisions, driven by sales jumps in the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions and North and South America, excluding the U.S.

Worldwide revenue from medical devices and diagnostics rose 6.1 percent, to $6.28 billion. Prescription drug sales jumped 8.9 percent to $5.98 billion. Consumer product sales rose 4.9 percent at $3.74 billion.

"Our solid results this quarter reflect the success of many of our recently launched products," CEO William Weldon said in a statement.

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