Updated from 11:16 a.m. EDTA strong first quarter prompted Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) Tuesday to raise its full-year earnings estimate by 5 cents to $3 a share. Robert J. Darretta, the company's vice chairman and CFO, told analysts Tuesday that he was "comfortable" with $3 a share even though the consensus view by analysts polled by Thomson First Call was $2.95. "We're in a position to endorse stronger expectations for the full-year performance," he said. His optimism was fueled primarily by the first quarter's results and the company's cost-control efforts. Darretta's remarks came during a telephone conference call heralding J&J's first-quarter earnings, whose 83 cents per share beat consensus estimates by 3 cents. Darretta said he was sticking to his previous guidance that revenue would grow in the "high single digits" for the year. Earnings growth will slow in the second half, he added. Darretta said J&J has historically built in a cushion for its earnings estimates, so if there is an unexpected disappointment or setback for a particular product, J&J won't need to revise its estimates. Despite a down market, the company's stock advanced 63 cents, or 1.2%, to $51.83. For the three months ended March 31, J&J reported a profit of $2.49 billion, or 83 cents a share, vs. $2.07 billion, or 69 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $11.56 billion. The consensus estimate of analysts was for net income of $2.38 billion, or 80 cents a share, on revenue of $11.34 billion. J&J's quarter was paced by several drugs or drug categories, including anti-infectives (up 28% worldwide to $383 million); the anti-psychotic Risperdal (up 22% to $731 million); and the epilepsy seizure treatment Topamax (up 42% to $328 million). But sales of the biggest pharmaceutical group -- the Procrit and Eprex drugs for anemia -- dropped 2% worldwide to $977 million amid increasing price competition. Many analysts believe J&J's anemia drug sales will continue to wilt under pressure from Amgen's ( AMGN) Aranesp. Darretta told analysts: "It will be more challenging to repeat our first-quarter performance."