updated 10/12/2004 8:53:00 AM ET 2004-10-12T12:53:00

Diversified health-care products maker Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that third-quarter profits rose 13 percent to beat Wall Street expectations.

Quarterly earnings rose to $2.34 billion, or 78 cents per share, from $2.07 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for the company to post earnings of 76 cents per share on sales of $11.31 billion in the latest period.

Total revenue rose 10.5 percent to $11.55 from $10.46 billion last year. Domestic sales were up 5.9 percent, while international sales increased 17.9 percent for the quarter.

The company said sales growth reflects the strong performances of antipsychotic medication Risperdal, pain patch Duragesic and Remicade, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Sales of anemia treatment Procrit/Eprex were negatively impacted by competitive activity, Johnson & Johnson said.

Sales of adult skin care products _ including Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear brands _ were also strong during the quarter, as were sales of McNeil Nutritional's Splenda sugar substitute.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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