J&J hikes 2014 forecast for a third time

Johnson & Johnson lifted its 2014 earnings forecast a third time after pharmaceutical sales helped the world's biggest maker of health care products trump analyst expectations for its recently concluded quarter.

J&J booked an 18 percent jump in worldwide in the third quarter, which helped it counter revenue declines in both its medical device and consumer segments. The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company also recorded a $1.1 billion gain in the quarter from the sale of its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business.

The maker of Band-Aids and baby shampoo said it now expects adjusted for one-time items to range between $5.92 and $5.97 per share this year. That's up from a forecast it made in July for $5.85 to $5.92 per share.

Analysts have been projecting earnings of $5.92 per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

In the third quarter, J&J saw earnings jump 59 percent to $4.75 billion even though revenue only rose 5 percent to $18.47 billion. Earnings adjusted for one-time items totaled $1.50 per share.

Analysts forecast $1.42 per share.

J&J also booked a 21 percent revenue gain from prescription drugs in its second quarter. The strong performance has helped it regain the lead among J&J's segments over its device business and offset the lagging consumer segment, which is still recovering from dozens of product recalls since 2009.

The company's stock climbed $1.19 to $100.31 in premarket trading about 30 minutes before the market open. The shares topped $108 late last month, their highest price in more than a decade.


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