Updated from 8:12 a.m. EDT

Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) reported flat first-quarter earnings Tuesday, beating Wall Street estimates, despite lower sales across all three of the company's major business lines.

Johnson & Johnson earned $3.5 billion, or $1.26 a share in the first quarter, down from net income of $3.6 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue fell 7.2% to $15 billion from $16.19 billion.

Analysts expected a profit of $1.22 a share on revenue of $15.43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company confirmed its earnings guidance for 2009 in the range of $4.45 to $4.55 a share, which excludes the impact of special items.

"Despite challenging economic and near-term business pressures, we continue to deliver solid financial results," said CEO William Weldon, in a statement.

Prominent in the Johnson & Johnson's first-quarter revenue drop was a 10.1% slide in sales from the company's pharmaceuticals business to $5.8 billion. Domestic sales decreased 9.7%, while international sales decreased 10.7%, partly a result of negative currency impact.

Consumer products sales fell 8.7% to $3.7 billion vs. the prior year. Domestic sales decreased 5.1%, while international sales decreased 11.6%, also partly a result of negative currency impact.

Sales in the company's medical device and diagnostics division totaled $5.5 billion, down 2.9% from the prior year.

Johnson & Johnson shares closed Monday at $51.15 and were rising 1.7% to $52 in premarket trading.

Diversified health care products maker Abbott Labs ( ABT) reports first-quarter results Wednesday, while pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly ( LLY) and Merck ( MRK) report next week.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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