Johnson & Johnson Profit Rises on International Sales

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on Tuesday said first-quarter earnings rose 17 percent, topping analysts' expectations, driven by double-digit growth in international sales of medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Johnson & Johnson also said it will acquire Peninsula Pharmaceuticals Inc. (search) , a privately held biotechnology company focused on developing antibiotics, in a cash deal valued at about $245 million.

J&J, based in New Brunswick, N.J., in the first quarter earned $2.9 billion, or 97 cents per share, compared with $2.5 billion, or 83 cents, a year-ago.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 92 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates, and shares of J&J rose 1.4 percent in premarket trade.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $12.8 billion, helped by solid growth in its medical devices and diagnostics segment and more modest growth in its drug products. International sales rose 20.1 percent, while U.S. sales were up 4.9 percent.

Excluding the currency exchange impact, international sales were up 14.7 percent.

Sales of drugs rose 7 percent to $5.8 billion, as strong demand for rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade (search), epilepsy drug Topamax and antipsychotic Risperdal offset declining sales of anemia drug Procrit (search), which was hurt by competition. International drug sales rose 13.8 percent, including 5.3 percent from currency exchange.

Sales of medical devices and diagnostics rose 16 percent to $4.8 billion, including growth of 25.4 percent in international sales. Excluding the currency impact, international sales were up 19.9 percent.

Sales of consumer products such as the painkiller Tylenol rose 11.4 percent to $2.3 billion.

Johnson & Johnson said the acquisition of Peninsula Pharmaceuticals will give it access to Peninsula's lead product, an experimental antibiotic called doripenem, which is currently in late-stage, or Phase III, clinical development.

The Food and Drug Administration (search) has agreed to review doripenem on an accelerated basis for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia.

Johnson & Johnson said the acquisition will result in a one-time charge of about 8 cents a share.