Health care and consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday it had net income of $4.3 billion, or $1.53 a share, in the first quarter, down from $4.7 billion, or $1.64 a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.56, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.53. Sales fell 4.1% to $17.4 billion, but were ahead of the FactSet consensus of $17.3 billion. The company said strong pharmaceutical and consumer brand sales were positives, while currency created a headwind. It now expects full-year EPS of $6.04 to $6.19, compared with the current FactSet consensus of $6.19, reflecting the expectation of further negative currency movements. Shares rose slightly in premarket trade, but are down 3.8% in the year so far, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.9%.
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