Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Earnings Exceed Expectations  
10/17/2012 7:13:21 AM

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson reported better-than-expected third-quarter results on Tuesday, as newer drugs, including a treatment for prostate cancer, led a rebound in sales and investor jitters about medical device sales proved unfounded. J&J, whose products span artificial hips and over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol, is showing signs of dependable sales growth after several years of navigating costly product recalls and the loss of patent protection on major brand-name drugs. Its performance has been helped by the launch of prescription drugs like Zytiga for prostate cancer and Incivek for hepatitis C, which it sells abroad under license from Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc, as well as the nearly $20 billion purchase of Swiss medical device maker Synthes earlier this year. "Things can't help but look more positive for the company with today's results," said Piper Jaffray analyst Matt Miksic, who noted it was the first time in a year that J&J had beaten Wall Street sales estimates. Earnings per share before special items topped expectations, and revenue also beat Wall Street estimates. For a graphic, see: