Johnson & Johnson beats profit estimates on pharma strength, raises sales outlook

The Johnson & Johnson logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) hiked its full-year operational sales forecast as strong demand for its cancer drugs Darzalex and Imbruvica helped it beat estimates for second-quarter profit on Tuesday.

Overall strength in J&J’s pharmaceuticals unit, bolstered by recent approvals for new treatments such as its cancer drug Erleada also helped drive its earnings beat.

Pharmaceutical sales rose 1.7% to $10.53 billion, above analysts’ estimates of $10.27 billion, according to three analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The company raised its operational sales forecast for 2019 to $82.4 billion to $83.2 billion, from a prior range of $82 billion to $82.8 billion.

The diversified healthcare company, the first major U.S. drugmaker to report second-quarter results, said net earnings rose to $5.61 billion, or $2.08 per share, from $3.95 billion, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $2.58 per share, beating analysts’ expectations for $2.46 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company reported a quarterly litigation expense of $409 million, down from $703 million a year earlier.

Sales fell 1.3% to $20.56 billion but came in ahead of estimates for $20.29 billion.

Editing by Bernadette Baum

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