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File photo shows Johnson and Johnson products. (Chris O'Meara/AP)
File photo shows Johnson and Johnson products. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

J&J beats forecasts, helped by new hepatitis C drug Add to ...

Johnson & Johnson reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and earnings, benefiting from strong sales of its Olysio treatment for hepatitis C.

The diversified healthcare company on Tuesday said it had earned $4.33-billion, or $1.51 per share, in the second quarter. That compared with $3.83-billion, or $1.33 per share.

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The company took charges for litigation and acquisitions in both periods.

Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.66 per share in the latest quarter. Analysts on average were expecting $1.55, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales jumped 9.1 per cent to $19.5-billion, beating Wall Street expectations of $18.99-billion.

J&J slightly boosted its full-year earnings forecast to between $5.85 and $5.92 per share from its earlier outlook of $5.80 to $5.90.

Olysio, which U.S. regulators approved in November, chalked up sales of $831-million for the second quarter and $1.19-billion for the year to date.

Many doctors use the pill with Gilead Sciences Inc’s Sovaldi, which was approved in December to treat the hepatitis C liver virus and has achieved even higher sales than Olysio.

But many industry analysts believe Olysio’s strong sales growth will level off later this year if Gilead wins approval for a pill that combines Sovaldi with another of the company’s treatments.

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