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Johnson & Johnson second-quarter profit drops 20 percent, still beats expectations

TRENTON, New Jersey--Health care giant Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit fell nearly 20 percent due to restructuring, recall and litigation costs, and higher spending on overhead and research.

The results still topped Wall Street expectations.

The maker of Band-Aids, biologic medicines and birth control pills said its net income was US$2.78 billion, or US$1 per share. That's down from US$3.45 billion, or US$1.23 per share, in the 2010 second quarter.

Revenue rose 8.3 percent, to US$16.6 billion from US$15.33 billion a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, income would have been US$3.55 billion, or US$1.28 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were expecting earnings per share of US$1.24 and sales of US$16.21 billion.

The company, which recently earned approval for three new prescription drugs, noted recent product launches have gone well.

J&J has been under pressure over a string of more than 25 product recalls that have especially cut into consumer product sales.

But the New Brunswick, New Jersey, company maintained its profit forecast for 2011, at US$4.90 to US$5 per share. That excludes the impact of one-time items.

Analysts expect US$4.95 per share, on average.

Sales were up in all three of its businesses, led by prescription drugs, which saw sales jump 12 percent to US$6.23 billion. That was mainly due to higher drug sales overseas and a big benefit from favorable currency exchange rates.

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