Johnson & Johnson quarterly profit beats on higher pharma unit sales

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July 17 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday topped analysts' estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, driven by higher sales of rare-disease treatments from its acquisition of Actelion and cancer drugs Zytiga and Darzalex.

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Sales across the company's three main units rose, with the pharmaceutical business surging nearly 20 percent to $10.35 billion, accounting for almost half of total sales in the second quarter.

The company's shares were volatile in premarket trading, recovering from an initial drop to trade up 1.4 percent at $126.46.

J&J has vowed to appeal a Missouri jury verdict that earlier this month ordered the company to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women, who had claimed their cancer was caused by J&J talc products.

The company is facing about 9,000 lawsuits alleging that its talc-based products, including its baby powder, caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to asbestos. The company has denied that the products contain asbestos or cause cancer of any kind.

Net earnings rose to $3.95 billion, or $1.45 per share, in the second quarter, from $3.83 billion, or $1.40 per share, a year earlier.

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Excluding items, the company reported a profit of $2.10 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.07.

Total sales rose to $20.83 billion from $18.84 billion a year ago, above analysts' estimates of $20.39 billion.

International revenue for J&J rose 11.8 percent in the reported quarter, and accounted for nearly half of its total sales.

The healthcare conglomerate said it expects full-year sales of $80.5 billion to $81.3 billion, compared with a prior estimate of $81.0 billion to $81.8 billion. The company cited a strengthening dollar for the trim.

Analysts had expected full-year profit of $8.12 per share and sales of $81.47 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. J&J said it now expects adjusted earnings of $8.07 to $8.17 per share, compared with an earlier forecast of $8.00-$8.20 per share.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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