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J&J 2Q profit climbs 13% on new drug sales

AP--Strong sales of several new drugs, particularly its hot new hepatitis medicine, lifted Johnson & Johnson's second-quarter profit by 13 percent, topping analysts' expectations.

The world's biggest maker of health care products raised its 2014 profit forecast for the second time since January, again up by a nickel to a new range of US$5.85 to US$5.92 per share, excluding one-time items.

Still, J&J shares fell in midday trading after company officials cited two drags on second-half revenue: the June 30 sale of its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics business for about US$4 billion, and expected new competition for Olysio, J&J's new treatment for chronic hepatitis C. In midday trading, shares were down US$1.71, or 1.6 percent, at US$103.67.

J&J on Tuesday reported earnings increased to US$4.33 billion, or US$1.51 per share, from US$3.83 billion, or US$1.33 per share, a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring litigation and other costs, came to US$1.66 per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected US$1.54 per share, on average.

The maker of Band-Aids, medical devices and biologic drugs said revenue rose 9.1 percent to US$19.5 billion from US$17.88 billion a year ago. Analysts expected US$18.85 billion.

The company “seems to have turned the corner on its string of unpleasant surprises, and is delivering mostly positive surprises,” said Erik Gordon, a professor and analyst at University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

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