(By Balachander) Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings amid strong growth of key products and launch of new products though the healthcare company issued guidance below market expectations.
Shares edged 0.72 percent lower in premarket on Tuesday.
On an adjusted basis, earnings per share (EPS) increased 5.3 percent to $1.19 from $1.13, topping Wall Street projections of $1.17 for the fourth quarter.
GAAP earnings jumped to $2.57 billion from $218 million. Fourth-quarter 2012 and 2011 net earnings included after-tax special items of $0.8 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively.
Sales grew 8 percent to $17.56 billion, slightly below consensus estimates for an increase of 8.70 percent. U.S. sales rose 6.8 percent and International sales increased 8.9 percent.
"Our results included strong growth of key products, successful new product launches, and the addition of Synthes to our family of companies," said CEO Alex Gorsky.
The company attributed higher quarterly sales to sales of upper respiratory over-the-counter products, international sales of LISTERINE oral care products and NEUTROGENA skin care products.
Cost of products sold increased 12.4 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year 2013, the company expects EPS in the range of $5.35 to $5.45, while analysts' expect $5.49.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $61.71 to $73.23, ended at $73.23 on Friday.