J&J 2Q profit rises 13 per cent to $4.33B, beats forecast on sales growth for new medicines

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Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported a 13 per cent jump in second-quarter profit, fueled mainly by strong sales of several new medicines. The results topped analysts’ expectations.

The maker of Band-Aids, medical devices and biologic drugs raised its 2014 profit forecast for the second time this year, again up by a nickel to a new range of $5.85 to $5.92 per share. J&J shares rose 28 cents to $105.38 in premarket trading.

J&J said earnings increased to $4.33 billion, or $1.51 per share, from $3.83 billion, or $1.33 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.66 per share. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was $1.54.

The world’s biggest maker of health care products said revenue rose 9.1 per cent to $19.5 billion from $17.88 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $18.85 billion, according to Zacks.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company said prescription drug sales rose 21 per cent to $8.51 billion, as sales climbed for new drugs including Olysio for hepatitis C and Xarelto for preventing heart attacks and strokes. The strong performance of the segment recently has helped it regain the lead over J&J’s device business and offset the lagging consumer segment, which is still recovering from dozens of product recalls since 2009.

Medical device sales edged up 0.7 per cent to $7.24 billion, while consumer product sales increased 2.4 per cent to $3.74 billion.

Johnson & Johnson shares have increased $13.79, or 15 per cent, to $105.38 since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 7 per cent. The stock has risen $14.98, or 17 per cent, in the last 12 months.

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