Johnson & Johnson Q1 profit surges 35 percent to $4.7B

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New Brunswick, NJ, United States (4E) – Johnson & Johnson reported a 35 percent increase in earnings during the first quarter, boosted by growing sales in the health-care company’s pharmaceutical unit.

J&J said profit was $4.7bn, or $1.64 per share, compared with $3.5bn, or $1.22 per share, in the previous year. Excluding some items like tax benefits and research charges, adjusted profit climbed 6.9 percent to $1.54 per share.

In the first quarter, revenue grew 5.3 percent to $18.1bn.

Analysts forecast profit to be at $1.47 per share and revenue of $18bn.

For the year, the company raised its earnings estimate range to $5.80 per share to $5.90 per share, excluding certain items, from its previous forecast of $5.75 per share to $5.85 per share.

The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company, which makes products including prescription drugs and medical devices, has been shedding products and businesses with slow growth. In March, J&J sold its ortho-clinical diagnostics business to Carlyle Group LP for around $4bn.

The company also has been trying to trim costs. In January, J&J unveiled plans to lower costs by $1bn over the next three years, by consolidating some operations and cutting jobs.

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