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Stronger dollar hurts J&J's quarterly sales

Listerine mouthwash bottles move through the production line at the J&J consumer healthcare products plant in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Listerine mouthwash bottles move through the production line at the J&J consumer healthcare products plant in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

Johnson & Johnson reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales as a stronger dollar offset higher sales of the Band-Aid maker's new drugs and older treatments.

The company's international sales fell about 7 percent to $9.65 billion in the fourth quarter, accounting for about half of its total sales.

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The dollar gained nearly 13 percent against a basket of major currencies in 2014, its strongest performance since 1997.

Revenue in J&J's pharmaceuticals business rose 9.6 percent in the quarter, driven by higher sales of new drugs such as hepatitis C drug Olysio and older treatments such as psoriasis drug Stelara. The business accounts for about 44 percent of the company's total sales.

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However, sales in J&J's medical devices business, its second largest, fell 9 percent.

The company's net profit fell about 28 percent to $2.52 billion, or 89 cents per share, including a $1.1 billion charge related to its acquisition of Synthes.

Excluding items, J&J earned $1.27 per share.

Total sales fell 0.6 percent to $18.25 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.26 per share and revenue of $18.55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

J&J forecast a profit of $6.12-$6.27 per share for 2015.

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Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso warned in October that a strong dollar could hurt the company's 2015 earnings by 15-20 cents per share.

J&J's shares were down 1 percent at $102.45 in premarket trading on Tuesday. (Get the latest quote here.)