Johnson & Johnson's 4Q profit rises 19 pct

Johnson & Johnson's 4Q profit jumps 19 pct on higher prescription drug sales, tax benefit

Associated Press
Johnson & Johnson's 4Q profit rises 19 percent
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In this Tuesday, July 30, 2013, photo, large banners hang in an atrium at the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J. Johnson & Johnson reports quarterly financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit jumped 19 percent, as prescription drug sales climbed sharply and the health care giant enjoyed a big tax benefit.

The maker of baby shampoo, biological drugs and medical devices also benefited from the turnaround of its consumer health care business, which rebounded with rising sales of U.S. sales of Tylenol, Motrin and other brands.

Those had been off store shelves for a few years because of dozens of product recalls dating back to 2009 and the closure of a key factory that's been gutted and rebuilt but hasn't reopened yet.

J&J said fourth-quarter net income was $3.52 billion, or $1.23 per share, up from $2.57 billion, or 91 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, net income was $3.56 billion, or $1.24 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting, on average, earnings per share of $1.20.

Revenue totaled $18.36 billion, up 4.5 percent from $17.56 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $17.94 billion.

Sales of prescription drugs rose 12 percent to $7.3 billion, including an 18 percent jump in U.S. sales. They were led by immune disorder drugs Remicade, Stelara and Simponi, as well as HIV drug Prezista and the injected schizophrenia drug Invega Sustena.

Consumer product sales rose 2.8 percent to $3.75 billion, while sales of medical devices and diagnostics dipped 1 percent.

The company, based in New Brunswick, N.J., said it expects earnings per share of $5.75 to $5.85 in 2014. That's up from $4.81 per share earned in 2013.

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