×

UPDATE 3-New cancer drugs help J&J top profit estimates

* Co raises FY17 adjusted earnings, sales forecast

* Pharma business sales up 15.4 pct

* Q3 rev up 10.3 pct, tops estimates

* Shares up 1.3 pct premarket (Adds details, analysts comments, updates shares)

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast as the company gained from strong sales of its new cancer drugs.

Shares of J&J, part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average , were up 1.3 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Higher demand for its blood cancer drugs, Darzalex and Imbruvica, and the addition of high-margin treatments for rare diseases from its $30 billion acquisition of Actelion are expected to boost the company's earnings in the coming quarters.

The company's pharmaceutical business posted a 15.4 percent rise in sales in the third quarter.

"We are convinced that the pharma pipeline remains robust and more meaningful contributions will kick in beyond 2017," Joshua Jennings from Cowen & Co wrote in a client note.

However, sales of J&J's rheumatoid arthritis drug, Remicade, slipped in the latest quarter as the company faces rising threats from copycat versions of the blockbuster drug.

The company, which makes everything from Band-Aids to Neutrogena beauty products, said its results included the impact of the first full quarter of the acquisition of Actelion, which added 7.9 percent to worldwide operational sales growth.

J&J raised its 2017 profit forecast to a range of $7.25 to $7.30 per share from a range of $7.12 to $7.22 per share estimated previously. Revenue forecast is expected to range between $76.1 billion and $76.5 billion, compared with its earlier outlook of $75.8 billion of $76.1 billion.

Total revenue rose 10.3 percent to $19.65 billion.

However, the company's net earnings fell to $3.76 billion, or $1.37 per share, in the quarter from $4.27 billion, or $1.53 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.90 per share.

Analysts on average were expecting an adjusted profit of $1.80 per share on revenue of $19.28 billion for the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)