"We achieved solid earnings in the first quarter which reflects our continued focus on profitable growth for Johnson & Johnson," said William C. Weldon, chairman and CEO, J&J. "Our strategy of being broadly based remains one of the keys to our consistent long-term performance."
Net earnings and diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2008 were $3.6 billion and $1.26, respectively. The first quarter of 2007 included an after-tax in-process research and development charge of $807 million associated with the acquisition of Conor Medsystems, Inc. Excluding this charge, net earnings for the current quarter and diluted earnings per share represent increases of 6.4% and 8.6%, respectively, as compared to the same period in 2007.
Worldwide consumer division sales of $4.1 billion for the first quarter represented a 16.2% increase over the prior year, with operational growth of 9.9% and a positive impact from currency of 6.3%. Domestic sales increased 11.7%, while international sales increased 20.2% (8.3% from operations and 11.9% from currency). Sales results, according to the company, reflect the strong performance of the U.S. launch of Listerine antiseptic mouthrinse and whitening products; baby care products; and the Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, and Aveeno skin care lines.
The company raised its earnings guidance for full-year 2008 to $4.40 - $4.45 per share, which does not include the impact of any in- process research and development charges or other special items.