(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales on Tuesday and cut its full-year 2012 profit forecast, citing the negative impact of a stronger dollar, but quarterly earnings narrowly beat Wall Street estimates.
The diversified healthcare company earned $1.41 billion, or 50 cents per share, in the second quarter. That compared with $2.78 billion, or $1.00 per share.
Quarterly sales fell 0.7 percent to $16.48 billion, shy of Wall Street expectations of $16.69 billion.
Excluding a number of big charges, J&J earned $1.30 per share in the most recent period. Analysts, on average, expected $1.29 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Citing a weakening dollar in April, J&J raised its 2012 profit forecast to between $5.07 and $5.17 per share. But on Tuesday it switched gears, trimmed its forecast to $5.00 to $5.07 per share, citing a turnaround in the dollar's direction.
"The dollar is now gaining strength against other currencies," company spokesman Al Wasilewski said. A stronger dollar reduces the value of sales in overseas markets, and is especially punishing to companies like J&J that derive a big percentage of sales outside the United States.
J&J took charges of $2.2 billion in the most recent quarter related to the writedown of research assets of its Crucell vaccines business, increased litigation costs related to probes of how it marketed its Risperdal schizophrenia drug and costs of its recent acquisition of Swiss medical device maker Synthes.
In the year-earlier period, the company took a big charge for restructuring its Cordis heart-device unit.
J&J shares fell 1.3 percent to $67.50 in premarket trading, from their closing price of $68.45 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reporting By Ransdell Pierson; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe