The $1 billion Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) spent on restructuring during the fourth quarter exacted a steep toll on its bottom line, dragging profits down 18.7 percent to $2.21 billion during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2009.
But the New Brunswick, N.J.-based health products conglomerate’s medical devices division was once again a bright spot, posting sales of $6.31 billion during the quarter, up 11.8 percent compared with $5.64 billion during the same period last year. J&J said full-year sales for the segment also rose, topping $23.57 billion in 2010, a nearly 2 percent increase over the $23.13 billion posted during 2009.
The company said U.S. medical device sales grew 9.1 percent during the quarter, to $2.82 billion, and international sales rose 14.1 percent to $3.49 billion. Full-year medical device sales were $11.01 billion in the U.S., a 4.5 percent uptick, but 2009 international sales were down a hair at $12.56 billion.
Johnson & Johnson called out several units within the division for posting strong growth, citing good performances from its Ethicon, DePuy and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics businesses. Results for its Cordis Corp. cardiovascular segment were less positive, it said, "reflecting continued competition in the drug-eluting stent market."
Overall sales for the fourth quarter rose 9 percent to $16.55 billion, compared with Q4 2008 sales of $15.18 billion. Net earnings per diluted share were 79 cents during the quarter, down 18.6 percent compared with 97 cents during the same period in 2008. Johnson & Johnson’s full-year sales slipped 2.9 percent to $61.9 billion, compared with $63.75 billion during 2008.
CEO Bill Weldon told analysts on a conference call that the revenue slide was the company’s first since the Great Depression 76 years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog.
JNJ reported net earnings per diluted share of $4.40 for 2009, down 3.7 percent compared with 2008’s mark of $4.57.
Looking ahead, JNJ said it expects to post earnings of between $4.85 to $4.95 per share for 2010, "which excludes the impact of special items."