J&J profits fall, medical device sales up but Cypher sales down for Q3
Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) third-quarter profits fell 7.7 percent on costs associated with recent layoffs, while its sales jumped 12.7 percent on a big acquisition and favorable currency-exchange rates.

Third-quarter sales rose 12.7 percent to $14.97 billion from $13.29 billion a year earlier. The strongest sales growth came from J&J's consumer segment, which posted a 47.5 percent increase to $3.62 billion. Much of the gain came from the December 2006 acquisition of Pfizer's consumer-health business. In the consumer segment, combined sales of over-the-counter drugs and nutritionals rose 81 percent to $1.26 billion.

J&J's pharmaceutical segment had third-quarter sales of $6.1 billion, up 3.7 percent from a year earlier. The greatest weakness in its pharmaceutical segment was the anti-anemia franchise. The FDA strengthened the safety warning for anti-anemia drugs, citing recent clinical studies showing that they increased the risk of death and cardiovascular problems when used with kidney-disease and cancer patients. The federal Medicare program has restricted reimbursement for the drugs.

J&J's third main segment, medical devices and diagnostics, had sales of $5.25 billion, up 6 percent from a year earlier. But J&J's Cordis division, which makes the Cypher drug-coated stent, posted another weak quarter because sales fell 21 percent to $777 million. Cypher's U.S. sales fell 44 percent to $185 million, and sales outside the U.S. fell 40 percent to $190 million.