Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that were lower than last year though still beat analysts' expectations, even as it faces litigation over allegations that its iconic talc baby powder contained asbestos, and it battles increased competition from generic prostate cancer drugs. 

The company reported first-quarter net income of $3.75 billion, or $2.10 an adjusted share, vs. $4.37 billion, or $1.39 a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting per share earnings of $2.04. Sales held flat on a year-over-year basis at approximately $20 billion.

The company narrowed its full-year earnings forecast to a range of $8.53 to $8.63 a share, down from its previous estimate of between $8.50 and $8.65. It didn't change its projected sales of $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion.

Most medicine cabinets hold at least one Johnson & Johnson product like soap or other medical supplies, though the company's pharmaceuticals business accounts for about half of its revenue.

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing litigation over allegations that its talc baby powder contains asbestos, and new competition against its prostate cancer drug Zytiga, which is now competing with generic versions launched late last year after a judge struck down the company's patent.

The Food and Drug Administration in March approved a new Johnson & Johnson drug, Spravato, a nasal spray for depression.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson gained 1.88% to $139.10 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. They ended the day Monday up 0.4% at $136.52.

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