Johnson & Johnson spurred on by sales of pharmaceutical products and medical devices

Health care giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has reported better than expected second quarter results as strong sales of pharmaceutical products and medical devices and the sale of its stake in Elan Corp offset weak growth in consumer goods.

In the three months to 30 June 2013, the company earned $3.8bn in revenues, or $1.33 per share, up from 50 cents per share a year earlier when the company paid out $2.2bn for the writedown of research assets, litigation expenses, and merger-related costs.

Excluding special items like expenses for litigation and an acquisition, earnings per share hit $1.48, beating analyst expectations of $1.39.

Revenue from the company’s pharmaceutical products rose 12 per cent year-on-year to $7bn, driven in part by a 9.8 per cent boost in sales of rheumatoid arthritis treatment Remicade and a 70 per cent increase in sales of new prostate cancer treatment Zytiga.

Meanwhile, the company’s biggest business, its medical device and diagnostic unit, saw sales rise 9.6 per cent to $7.19bn, in part due to the acquisition of Synthes Inc last year for $19.7bn.

And in April and June, J&J sold its stake in Elan for $1.26bn, ending a four year relationship with the biotechnology company to develop a drug for Alzheimers (note, this does not count as a special item).

J&J now expect full year earning per share to be between $5.40 annd $5.47 – up from its January estimate of $5.35 to $5.45.

Chief executive Alex Gorsky said:

Our strong second-quarter results reflect the progress we’ve made against our near-term priorities of delivering on our financial commitments, restoring a reliable supply of over-the-counter products to consumers, continuing the successful integration of Synthes and building on the momentum in our pharmaceutical business.