Johnson & Johnson reported Tuesday fourth-quarter earnings that rose to $3.22 billion, or $1.15 a share, from $2.52 billion, or 89 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.44, above the FactSet consensus of $1.42. Sales declined 2.4% to $17.81 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $17.88 billion, with a 12% decline in international sales offsetting an 8% increase in the U.S. Sales in its consumer division declined 7.9% to $3.32 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $3.5 billion. The drug and consumer products company said it expects 2016 sales of $70.8 billion to $71.5 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $71.94 billion. "As we enter 2016, our core business is very healthy, and the recent decisive actions we've taken in support of each of our businesses position us well to drive sustainable long-term growth, faster than the markets we compete in," Chief Executive Alex Gorsky said. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has lost 3.5% over the past three months while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 9.4%.
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