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Johnson & Johnson Lifts FY17 Forecast As Q3 Results Top Estimates

Drug major Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on Tuesday lifted its forecast for fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings per share and sales. In its third quarter, net profit declined, despite higher sales. However, both adjusted profit and topline beat analysts' estimates.

In pre-market activity, JNJ shares were gaining 2.2 percent to $139.

The company now expects fiscal 2017 adjusted earnings of $7.25 - $7.30 per share and sales of $76.1 billion to $76.5 billion. Previously, the company expected annual adjusted earnings of $7.12 - $7.22 per share, and sales of $75.8 billion to $76.1 billion.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $7.18 per share on sales of $75.83 billion for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

In its third quarter, net earnings were $3.8 billion, down 12 percent from last year's $4.27 billion. Earnings per share were $1.37, down 10.5 percent from $1.53 last year.

Excluding after-tax intangible amortization expense and special items, adjusted net earnings for the current quarter were $5.2 billion or $1.90 per share, compared to $4.68 billion or $1.68 per share.

Johnson & Johnson's sales were $19.7 billion, an increase of 10.3 percent from $17.82 billion a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of $1.8 per share on sales of $19.28 billion for the quarter.

Operational sales results increased 9.5 percent and the positive impact of currency was 0.8 percent. Domestic sales increased 9.7 percent. International sales increased 10.9 percent, reflecting operational growth of 9.3 percent and a positive currency impact of 1.6 percent.

Excluding the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures, on an operational basis, worldwide, domestic and international sales each increased 3.8 percent.

Worldwide Consumer sales of $3.4 billion represented an increase of 2.9 percent versus the prior year.

Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Johnson & Johnson accelerated growth in the third quarter. This is driven by the strong performance of our Pharmaceutical business, and augmented by Actelion and other recent acquisitions across the enterprise that will continue to fuel growth."

Further, the company said it has made a decision not to pursue global approvals of sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, the clinical trial for talacotuzumab, an investigational compound being studied in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, has been discontinued.

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