Johnson & Johnson Tops Earnings Expectations

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported fiscal third-quarter results before markets opened this morning. The health care giant posted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.25 on revenues of $17.1 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.24 on revenues of $16.0 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.21 and $16.9 billion in revenues.

Worldwide Consumer sales saw a year-over-year decrease of 4.3%, due largely to currency issues. But Worldwide Medical Devices and Diagnostics sales grew 12.5%, driven by the recently completed acquisition of Synthes Inc.

The company's CEO said:

Our third-quarter results reflected continued sales momentum driven by strong growth of key products, successful new product launches, and the addition of Synthes to our family of companies. We advanced our pipelines with regulatory approvals for a number of new products, the submission of several new drug applications, and the completion of several strategic collaborations.

The company updated its earnings guidance for full-year 2012 to $5.05 to $5.10 per share. The consensus analyst estimate for the fourth quarter calls for EPS of $1.18 on revenue of $17.53 billion. The full year forecast calls for EPS of $5.06, which would be a few pennies higher than a year ago, on revenue of $67.20 billion, which would be up 3.3%.

Shares are up about 1% in premarket trading to $69.40. The 52-week range is $61.05 to $69.75. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $73.93 before today's report.