Health care giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has reported better than expected second quarter results as strong sales of pharmaceutical products and medical devices and the sale of its stake in Elan Corp offset weak growth in consumer goods.
J&J earned $17.9 billion, or $1.33 per share. That's up from $16.5 billion in the second-quarter of 2012, when the company paid out $2.2bn for the writedown of research assets, litigation expenses, and merger-related costs.
Excluding special items like expenses for litigation and an acquisition, earnings per share hit $1.48, beating analyst expectations of $1.39.
Of the company's many divisions, worldwide pharmaceutical sales netted $7.0 billion, an 11.7% increase, while worldwide medical devices and diagnostics made the company $7.2 billion, a 9.6% increase in profits.
New drugs such as Xarelto, Simponi, Invokana and Zytiga should continue to lead the growth in pharmaceuticals for the company. In the first quarter of 2013, Johnson & Johnson reported sales of $158 million for Xarelto, up from just 27 million in the same quarter a year ago. The blood-thinner drug should continue to grow in Q2, as it is expected to peak at $2.5 billion in sale.
J&J sold its share of Elan in April and June for $1.26 billion, ending the relationship started with the Irish biotechnology company to develop an Alzheimer's drug.
This was the second consecutive time J&J benefited from a one-time gain, after first-quarter results were helped by reversal of a payment to the U.S. Medicaid insurance program for the poor.
The New Brunswick, N.J., company didn't give quarterly guidance, but predicted 2013 annual earnings of $5.35 to $5.45 per share, reflecting the negative impact of currency fluctuations.
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