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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) hits all time high on better than expected 1Q earnings.

JNJ reported EPS ahead of expectations due to lower taxes, strong sales of prescription drugs, and a improvement in sales of OTC drugs as some of the recall problems subside.  Overall, sales increased 8.5% with currency hurting sales by 1.3%.  Excluding currency and acquisitions/divestitures, sales increased 4.1%.  Sales grew by more than 11% in the U.S. and Asia, but were only up 6.2% in Europe. 
 
Core consumer sales increased 4.3% with OTC pharmaceuticals and nutritionals increasing 7.6% on an operational basis including a 14.4% increase in the U.S. Sales in the pharma area increased 12.4% including almost 15% of growth in the U.S. due to strong growth of 16% in the immunology business including Remicade/Simponi/Stelara (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis) and 35% growth in the oncology business due to 70% growth of Zytiga (prostate cancer).  Procrit (anemia) sales declined by 14% due to market share losses.  Core medical device sales were down 2.4% as the company saw double digit declines in diabetes and infection prevention with a 5% decline in diagnostics offset by cardiology sales increasing 6%+, electrophysiology up 12%+, and orthopedic up 4%+. 
 
At the end of the 1st quarter, the company had $22 billion in cash and marketable securities offset by $16 billion in debt.  Given all the adjustments, JNJ expects full year operational EPS of $5.33-5.43. 
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