Johnson & Johnson results beat Wall Street estimates

Johnson & Johnson reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, as growth of newer medicines for cancer, hepatitis C and blood clots offset declining sales of its treatments for heartburn and attention deficit disorder.

The diversified healthcare company said on Tuesday it earned $3.5 billion, or $1.22 per share, compared with $3.91 billion, or $1.41 per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.44 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.40 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Global company sales rose 8.5 percent to $17.50 billion, slightly higher than the $17.42 billion expected by Wall Street. They would have risen by 9.8 percent if not for the stronger dollar, which hurts the value of sales in overseas markets.

J&J stuck to its earlier full-year 2013 profit forecast of $5.35 to $5.45 per share. It earned $5.10 per share last year.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)