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Johnson & Johnson Earnings Up 16% On Drugs Growth

By BridgeNews Johnson & Johnson, the world's biggest maker of medical devices, reported that second-quarter profit rose a more-than-expected 16% on higher sales of antibiotics and drugs for schizophrenia and anemia. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company, which also makes consumer products such as Tylenol and Motrin analgesics, Reach toothbrushes, and Band-Aid bandages, said net income rose to $1.33 billion, or 94 cents a share, from $1.16 billion, or 82 cents, a year ago. Analysts had expected J&J to earn 92 cents a share. Sales rose 7.7% to $7.5 billion. "An area of notable strength is our pharmaceutical business, where we experienced particularly robust growth," notes Ralph S. Larsen, chairman and CEO. Johnson & Johnson's worldwide pharmaceutical sales rose 13.9% to $3.2 billion from $2.8 billion a year ago, spurred by a 23.6% growth in domestic sales. Sales strength was led by higher sales in Procrit/Eprex, a treatment for anemia; Risperdal, medication for schizophrenia; Duragesic, a transdermal patch for chronic pain; and its anti-infective treatment Levaquin. The company saw, however, an expected sales decline in Propulsid, its ulcer product, after announcing it would no longer be marketed in the U.S.

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