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J&J 4Q Profits Drop Nearly 90 Percent

The company said net income in the fourth quarter was $218 million, down from $1.94 billion a year earlier.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) โ€” Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit was barely a tenth what it made a year ago as a slew of charges for recalls, litigation and an acquisition dragged down income. But the health care giant's revenue jumped last year, ending an unprecedented two-year decline.

After two tough years overshadowed by an embarassing series of product recalls and other problems, the maker of Tylenol, prescription drugs and medical devices managed to beat Wall Street's forecast for adjustedprofit and came in just below its revenue forecast.

The company said net income was $218 million, or 8 cents per share, down from $1.94 billion, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges, net income was $3.13 billion, or $1.13 per share.

Revenue totaled $16.26 billion, up from $15.64 billion in 2010's fourth quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected earnings per share of $1.09 and revenue of $16.28 billion.

"We delivered solid results for 2011, built on the strong growth of our recently launched pharmaceutical products, and continued the steady momentum of new product approvals across all our businesses," CEO Bill Weldon said in a statement.

Revenue fell 3.4 percent in the U.S., to $6.99 billion, but jumped 10.2 percent in foreign countries, to $9.27 billion. The U.S. decline was mostly due to an 8 pecent drop in sales of prescription drugs.

J&J said it expects 2012 earnings of $5.05 to $5.15 per share, excluding special items. Analysts had expected $5.20 per share.