CFO: Why J&J's three units are best as one company

JNJ beats on earnings, raises yearly forecast

Responding to a growing call on Wall Street for conglomerates to split up, Johnson & Johnson CFO Dominic Caruso said Tuesday that J&J's three units of pharma, medical devices and consumer products are stronger as one company.

"We have a long track record of performing very well in all three of those markets," Caruso told CNBC's "Squawk Box." He said the stock most of the time trades above "what's commonly known as 'sum of the parts' analysis."

Shares of J&J were slightly higher in premarket trading on Tuesday, after the company's earnings report beat estimates and revenue matched expectations. The health-care giant also raised its yearly outlook.

The company said worldwide pharmaceutical sales of $8.2 billion for the first quarter represented a 5.9 percent increase from the year-ago period. Medical-device sales saw a 2.4 percent decline to $6.1 billion. Consumer sales fell 5.8 percent to $3.2 billion.

Overall, New Jersey-based J&J reported adjusted first-quarter profit of $1.68 per share, a 7.7 percent increase from the year-ago period. Revenue of nearly $17.5 billion rose 0.6 percent from the first quarter 2015.

Johnson & Johnson expects full-year earnings in the range of $6.53 to $6.68 per share, with revenue in the range of $71.2 billion to $71.9 billion, reflecting current foreign currency exchange rates.

As for possible M&A opportunities with biotech valuations coming down, Caruso said J&J is "obviously looking very closely at the field."

"[But] I'm not sure the owners of those companies agree the current valuations are at the right place. So we'll continue to work through various acquisition proposals," he added. "We want to do the right deal, at the right time, with the right partner, at the right valuation."

Johnson & Johnson shares, as of Monday's close, have increased 8 percent since the beginning of the year, while the index has climbed 2.5 percent. The stock has risen 11 percent in the last 12 months.

— Associated Press contributed to this report.