J&J beats forecasts despite recalls of OTC drugs

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N> reported stronger-than-expected sales and earnings despite product recalls that hurt sales of its consumer products, and slightly boosted its full-year profit forecast.

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The diversified healthcare company on Tuesday said it earned $3.48 billion, or $1.25 per share. That compared with $4.53 billion, or $1.62 per share, in the year-earlier period, when J&J had substantial tax gains.

Excluding special items, including litigation expenses and the cost of recalling hip replacement products, J&J earned $1.35 per share. That topped the average forecast of $1.26 per share among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson, editing by Maureen Bavdek)