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Johnson & Johnson Posts 1st-Quarter Earnings Beat

- By Mayank Marwah

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) released its first-quarter earnings before the market opened on April 16 . Earnings and revenues topped expectations thanks to higher sales in its pharmaceuticals unit.

Despite the beat, quarterly profits dropped 14% as a result of rising legal costs as well as poor overseas sales numbers.

Shares surged 1.2% in premarket trading.

In a statement, Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky commented on the company's performance.

"We remain focused on investing in innovative technologies and platforms that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world," he said.

Key metrics

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company posted net income of $3.75 billion, or $1.39 per share, down 14% from $4.37 billion, or $1.60 a share, in the year-ago quarter. The company attributed the decline to litigation expenses of $423 million.

Revenue amounted to $20.02 billion, surpassing projections.

Prescription drug unit sales boost revenue

More than 50% of the company's revenue was generated from the prescription drug unit, which saw sales grow 4.07% year over year to $10.24 billion. The segment benefited from two U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for nasal spray treatment Spravato and bladder cancer drug Balversa.

Top perfromers were anti-inflammatory treatment Stelara, which recorded sales of $1.41 billion, up from $1.06 billion in the prior-year quarter. Sales of multiple myeloma drug Darzalex came in at $629 million, reflecting an approximately 46% gain.

Shifting gears, sales of consumer health products declined 2.4% to $3.32 billion, while medical device sales fell 4.6% to $6.46 billion.

Financial forecast

The world's biggest maker of health care products sees 2019 sales to be in between $80.4 billion and $81.2 billion. On the other hand, J&J projects earnings per share for the same period to be in the range of $8.53 to $8.63.

Disclosure: I do not hold any positions in the stock mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.