J&J earned $3.2bn (£2.04bn), or $1.15 per share, compared with $3.42bn or $1.23 per share a year earlier.
Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.24 per share. Analysts on average had expected $1.21.
Revenue rose 6.8 per cent to $16bn, just shy of Wall Street estimates of $16.02bn. It would have risen just 2.6 per cent if not for the weaker dollar, which boosts the value of sales in overseas markets.
The company’s US sales slipped 3.7 per cent, hurt by declines in all three product segments: prescription drugs, consumer products and medical devices.