Johnson & Johnson Reports Better Than Expected 3Q Results


Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest maker of healthcare products, reported third-quarter revenue and profit just ahead of Wall Street estimates, fueled by strong sales in its prescription drugs business.

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The company's net earnings rose to $4.27 billion, or $1.53 per share, in the third quarter, from $3.36 billion, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.68 per share.

Revenue rose to $17.82 billion from $17.10 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.66 per share and revenue of $17.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales of autoimmune drug Remicade, J&J's biggest product, rose 10.5 percent to $1.78 billion.

Pfizer Inc said on Monday it would begin shipping its biosimilar version of Remicade in late November at a 15 percent discount to current wholesale prices.

The Pfizer drug, to be sold under the name Inflectra, is already available in Europe and other overseas markets.

J&J's forecast for 2016 had assumed no competition from a Remicade biosimilar in the United States this year.

However, the maker of a variety of products from Tylenol to Band-Aid bandages to Acuvue contact lenses raised the lower end of its adjusted profit range to $6.68 per share from $6.63. The company retained the upper end at $6.73 per share.

J&J, the first major U.S. drugmaker to announce quarterly earnings, maintained its revenue forecast for the year.

The company agreed last month to buy Abbott Laboratories' medical optics business for $4.3 billion.

Up to Monday's close, J&J's shares had gained about 15 percent since the start of the year, compared with a 3.7 percent decline in the S&P 500 healthcare sector.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)