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Pharma sales turbocharge Johnson & Johnson’s first-quarter earnings beat

Results exceeded Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue
A magnifying glass makes the Johnson & Johnson name pop out
Shares rise in pre-market on positive outlook, revenue beat

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) crested Wall Street's first-quarter earnings and revenue expectations on Tuesday, fueled by strong pharmaceutical growth.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company reported net income of US$4.37bn, or US$1.60 per share. Adjusted per-share earnings were US$2.06, a nickel better than expected, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

READ: Johnson & Johnson, Imerys ordered to pay additional US$80mln in punitive damages in talc-cancer case

The world’s biggest maker of healthcare products, clocked revenue of US$20bn, topping analysts' projections for US$19.48bn.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson rose nearly 1% to US$133 in pre-market trade.

Johnson & Johnson expects full-year earnings in the range of US$8 to US$8.20 per share, with revenue in the range of US$81bn to US$81.8bn.

"We had a very strong quarter. We carried our momentum from 2017 into 2018, and our pharmaceutical business continued to have stellar results," Johnson & Johnson Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso told CNBC.

The firm’s pharma business, especially cancer drug sales in Imbruvica and Darzalex, posted US$9.84bn in revenue, a 15% year-over-year operational jump in the quarter.

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