J&J Q4 sales up 1.7 pct, plans to divest diabetes care division

Alex Gorsky
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Johnson & Johnson reported a smaller-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter sales, hurt by slowing demand for its medical devices and a stronger dollar.

The company's stock dropped 1.7 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.

J&J, which is looking for ways to rejuvenate its aging legacy portfolio, also said it was looking at strategic options for its diabetes care division.

The diversified healthcare company's sales rose 1.7 percent to $18.11 billion in the fourth quarter, missing analysts' average estimate of $18.28 billion, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

J&J said sales in its medical device business edged up 0.2 percent to $6.44 billion. Sales in the business had risen 1 percent in the previous quarter.

The company's net earnings rose to $3.81 billion, or $1.38 per share, from $3.22 billion, or $1.15 per share.

Excluding items, the band-aid maker earned $1.58 per share, beating analysts' average estimate by 2 cents.