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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday, and lifted its full-year sales and profit guidance, as pharmaceutical revenues surprised to the upside.

Johnson & Johnson said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in September came in at $2.12 per share, up 3.4% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.00 per share. Group revenues, Johnson & Johnson said, rose 1.7% to $20.7 billion, finishing just ahead of the consensus $20.1 billion forecast. 

Looking into 2019, Johnson & Johnson said its sees full-year adjusted earnings of between $8.62 and $8.67 per share, up from the prior forecast of $8.53-$8.63 per share. with full-year operational sales of as much as $84.2 billion.

"As we look ahead, we remain confident in the strength of our broad-based business model, which is fueled by our disciplined portfolio management, focus on transformational innovation and dedicated employees around the world who position us for success today and well into the future," said CEO Alex Gorsky.

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Johnson & Johnson shares were marked 2.23% higher at the start of trading following the earnings release to change hands at $133.59 each, a move that would tip the stock into a 4% year-to-date gain.

Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceuticals business, by far the largest division, saw sales rise 5.8% to $10.9 billion, offsetting relatively flat revenues in its consumer division of $3.47 billion. Medical Devices sales slipped 3.3% to $6.38 billion.