(Corrects second paragraph to say J&J’s pharmaceuticals sales rose “19.4 pct to $9.84 bln” not “3.8 pct to $3.04 bln”)
April 17 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Tuesday and raised its full-year sales forecast, helped by growing demand for its cancer drugs.
J&J’s pharmaceuticals sales rose 19.4 percent to $9.84 billion, driven by sales of its cancer drugs such as Darzalex, Imbruvica and Zytiga that rose 45 percent to $2.31 billion in the quarter.
J&J raised its full-year sales forecast to $81.0 billion to $81.8 billion from its previous forecast of $80.6 billion to $81.4 billion.
Excluding items, the company earned $2.06 per share. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $2.02 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales in the first quarter jumped to $20.01 billion from $17.77 billion a year earlier, beating analysts’ estimates of $19.46 billion.
Net earnings fell to $4.37 billion, or $1.60 per share, from $4.42 billion, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier.
Shares in the Dow-component were up 1.1 percent to $133.25 before the bell. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru Editing by Supriya Kurane)