EARNINGS-J&J raises forecast after quarterly profit beats estimates


Adds details on sales of treatments, forecast

July 16 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N raised its full-year profit forecast and beat analysts' estimates for quarterly earnings on Thursday as strength in its pharmaceuticals unit cushioned a steep fall in sales of its medical devices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales in the healthcare conglomerate's medical devices unit tumbled 33.9% in the second quarter as hospitals and patients delayed non-urgent procedures like hip and knee replacements.

But its large pharmaceuticals unit offset the slump, rising 2.1%, helped by strong demand for Stelara, used to treat Crohn's disease and plaque psoriasis, and cancer drug Darzalex.

The company raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast to $7.75 to $7.95 per share, from its prior estimate of $7.50 to $7.90 per share.

J&J's total sales fell 10.8% to $18.34 billion, but beat estimates of $17.61 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company, which is set to begin human trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine this month, reported net earnings of $3.63 billion, or $1.36 per share, down from $5.61 billion, or $2.08 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, J&J earned $1.67 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.49 per share.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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