Johnson & Johnson Beats

Updated from 8:46 a.m. EDT

Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) announced second-quarter earnings that rose nearly 17% from last year while beating Wall Street estimates by a healthy margin, but sales of its Cypher stent, a potential blockbuster, were impacted by increased competition.

Johnson & Johnson Tuesday posted net income of $2.5 billion, or 82 cents a share, beating the 79-cent analyst estimate and topping the $1.21 billion, or 40 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding a number of charges related to its acquisition of Scios and Link Spine, the company's earnings grew 16.5% from the $2.1 billion, or 70 cents a share, it had a year ago.

The company's worldwide sales came in at $11.484 million, just shy of the $11.492 million expected by Wall Street, but 11.1% higher than last year. Johnson & Johnson said domestic sales were up 9.1%, while international sales increased 14.1%. Shares of the company were lately up 62 cents, or 1.1%, to $55.51.

"Despite intense competition on several fronts, our corporation continues to achieve solid operational growth," said William Weldon, chairman and CEO. "We had strong performances from a number of our operating companies within each segment of our business."

Within its business segments, Worldwide Medical Devices and Diagnostics had $4.1 billion in sales, up 11.8% year-over year, led by sales of LifeScan's blood glucose monitoring products, Vistakon's disposable contact lenses and its Cordis unit's Cypher drug-eluting stent.

Sales of Cordis' Cypher stent dropped from last quarter because of increased competition, with Boston Scientific's ( BSX) Taxus stent hitting the market in March. Johnson & Johnson said Cypher sales came in at $211 million, up 1% over last year, but well down from the $432 million the company had in the first quarter.

In the quarter, Johnson & Johnson said Cypher had a 30% share of the U.S. market it dominated a year ago. Sales outside the U.S. came in at $120 million, where Johnson & Johnson's share of the market came in at 48%, up from 46% in the previous quarter. The company is currently planning a full launch of the Cypher stent in Japan.

Worldwide pharmaceutical sales came in at $5.4 billion for the second quarter, up 11.1% from last year. The company said the double-digit percentage sales growth was driven by Remicade, the company's treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease; Topamax, an antiepileptic; and Duragesic, a transdermal patch for chronic pain, which racked up $1 billion in sales for the quarter, up 26% from last year. But sales of Procrit and Eprex, the company's anemia fighters, fell 18% and 11%, respectively, because of increased competition.

In Johnson & Johnson's consumer segment, sales came in at $2 billion, up 10% from last year, boosted by strong sales of Splenda sweetener and Neutrogena skincare products.

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