Johnson & Johnson
said Tuesday that profits grew 17.5% in the fourth quarter, led by strong sales in both medical equipment and drugs.
Fourth-quarter net income totaled $1.1 billion, or 36 cents a share, including acquisition-related charges, compared with $936 million, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Minus special charges, Johnson & Johnson' fourth-quarter profits were $1.2 billion, or 39 cents a share, which matched Wall Street expectations, a growth rate of 17.5% over last year.
Fourth-quarter sales totaled $8.4 billion, a 15% rise over sales of $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter last year.
The company's medical equipment division reported fourth-quarter sales of $8.4 billion, a 15% rise over the comparable quarter last year. Fourth-quarter sales in the pharmaceutical division grew almost 30% to $3.82 billion. Sales of consumer goods totaled $1.7 billion, flat with year-ago numbers.
For 2001, Johnson & Johnson booked profits of $5.9 billion, or $1.91 a share, excluding special charges, compared with $5 billion, or $1.63 a share, in 2000.
The company is holding a meeting for analysts later today, where it is expected to give financial guidance for this year. Analysts are looking for earnings of $2.21 a share in 2002, according to consensus figures compiled by Thomson Financial/First Call.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson closed Friday at $59.70.