Surging sales of Johnson & Johnson's prescription medicines and the rebound of its recall-plagued consumer health business lifted fourth-quarter profit 19 percent.
The health care giant also enjoyed a $707 million tax benefit from writing off money-losing subsidiary Scios.
However, shares fell on J&J's less-stellar 2014 profit forecast due to factors including continued pressures for lower prices.
The maker of baby shampoo and biological drugs said Tuesday that fourth-quarter net income was $3.52 billion, or $1.23 per share, up from $2.57 billion, or 91 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, income was $1.24 per share. Analysts expected 4 cents less.
Revenue totaled $18.36 billion, up 4.5 percent. Analysts expected $17.94 billion, according to FactSet.
"Each of Johnson & Johnson's three main business units reported better sales than investors were expecting ... despite a negative impact due to currency (rates) of over 3 percent," noted Edward Jones analyst Judson Clark.
CEO Alex Gorsky noted J&J got three new medicines approved last year — Invokana for Type 2 diabetes, Olysio for hepatitis C and Imbruvica for lymphoma. It expects to apply for approval of 10 more by 2017.
Prescription drug sales rose 12 percent to $7.3 billion, led by higher sales of immune disorder drugs, plus Zytiga for prostate cancer and HIV drug Prezista.
Continue reading this story on the...