April 15, 2014 / 12:10 PM / in 4 years

J&J beats forecasts, helped by new medicines

April 15 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported quarterly earnings well above Wall Street expectations, as strong sales of new prescription drugs offset weak sales of consumer products.

J&J on Tuesday said it earned $4.73 billion, or $1.64 per share, in the first quarter. That compared with $3.5 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the year-ago quarter, when the diversified healthcare company took a big litigation charge.

Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.54 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting $1.48 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Sales rose 3.5 percent to $18.1 billion in the quarter, topping Wall Street forecasts of $18 billion.

Reporting by Ransdell Pierson

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