Johnson & Johnson posted a 27 percent jump in third-quarter profit, as restrained spending and soaring prescription drug sales more than offset a dip in consumer product sales for the health care bellwether.
The world's biggest maker of health care products handily beat Wall Street's expectations and raised the lower end of its 2016 profit forecast.
The maker of Band-Aids, medical devices and biologic drugs such as psoriasis treatment Stelara on Tuesday reported net income of $4.27 billion, or $1.53 per share. That's up from $3.36 billion, or $1.20 per share, in 2015's third quarter.
Adjusted for amortization costs and other one-time items, earnings amounted to $1.68 per share. That was 3 cents better than the average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company posted revenue of $17.82 billion in the quarter, up from $17.1 billion a year ago. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $17.72 billion.
Sales of prescription drugs, J&J's largest business, jumped nearly 12 percent in the U.S. and 9.2 percent worldwide to $8.4 billion, led by $1.8 billion for immune disorder drug Remicade. Xarelto, for preventing strokes and heart attacks, saw sales jump 15 percent to $529 million in the quarter, while sales of biologic psoriasis drug Stelara soared 33 percent to $814 million and sales of new leukemia and lymphoma treatment Imbruvica nearly doubled to $349 million.
Remicade, an injected biologic drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease and colitis, brought in $5.34 billion in the first three quarters and is one of the world's top-selling medicines. Rival Pfizer Inc. announced Monday that in late November it will launch a cheaper rival, a near-copy called a biosimilar, in the U.S. under the name Inflectra. Priced 15 percent less than the roughly $2,600 monthly list price for Remicade, Inflectra is sure to siphon off some Remicade sales, as has happened in Europe, where Remicade already has biosimilar competition.
Medical device sales edged up 1.1 percent to $6.16 billion, while sales of consumer health products such as Tylenol and Motrin pain relievers fell 1.6 percent to $3.26 billion.
Johnson & Johnson said it expects full-year adjusted earnings in the range of $6.68 to $6.73 per share, up from its July forecast of $6.63 to $6.73 per share. It affirmed its earlier forecast for revenue of $71.5 billion to $72.2 billion.
"With a number of regulatory approvals, several new drug application submissions and new breakthrough therapy designations from the (Food and Drug Administration), we are increasingly confident in our pipeline expectation of filing 10 new pharmaceutical products between 2015 and 2019, each with revenue potential over $1 billion," Chief Executive Alex Gorsky said in a statement.
In premarket trading, J&J shares fell 46 cents to $118.03 about an hour before the market open.
Johnson & Johnson shares have climbed 15 percent so far this year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 4 percent.
Follow Linda A. Johnson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lindaj_onpharma.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.