J&J Shares to Hit Record After Earnings

Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Band-Aids and Tylenol, reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday and nudged up its 2016 sales and earnings forecasts.

The company's stock rose about 1.4 percent $112.50 in premarket trading, on track to open at a record high.

J&J's first-quarter sales rose 0.6 percent to $17.48 billion, led by demand for pharmaceutical products in the United States. Overall, though, sales were constrained by the strong dollar and Venezuela's currency devaluation.

Net earnings fell to $4.29 billion, or $1.54 per share, from $4.32 billion, or $1.53 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the company earned $1.68 per share, compared with the average analysts' estimate of $1.65, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

J&J said that based on current exchange rates, it now expected sales of $71.2 billion to $71.9 billion in 2016, up from its January forecast of $70.8 billion to $71.5 billion.

On an adjusted basis, it said it expected to earn $6.53-$6.68 per share for the year, up from its prior estimate of $6.43-$6.58.

The company's pharmaceutical unit accounted for 45 percent of its $70 billion in sales last year. Medical devices made up for more than a third of sales, with over-the-counter medicines and other consumer products making up the rest.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Ted Kerr)