Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported first-quarter 2009 net earnings of $3.5 billion, a 2.5% decrease compared with the same period in the previous year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.26, which was equivalent to a year ago. Despite challenging economic and near-term business pressures, we continue to deliver solid financial results, said chairman and CEO William C. Weldon in a statement accompanying the earnings release. We are continuing to make strategic investments in order to bring important new products to market, positioning us well for long-term growth. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company said sales of $15 billion were down 7.2% compared with the first quarter of 2008. Domestic sales declined 5% and international sales were down 9.6%. Johnson & Johnson confirmed earnings guidance for full-year 2009 of $4.45 to $4.55 per share, excluding the impact of special items.