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J&J 4Q profit jumps on higher sales, lower charges

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Higher sales helped Johnson & Johnson post a much bigger fourth-quarter profit that a year ago, when a slew of charges depressed results.

The New Brunswick, N.J., company says net income was $2.57 billion, or 91 cents per share, up from $218 million, or 8 cents per share, in 2011's fourth quarter.

Excluding about $800 million in one-time acquisition and litigation charges, earnings in the latest quarter would have been $3.38 billion, or $1.19 per share. That beat the expectation of analysts by 2 cents per share.

The maker of prescription drugs, consumer health products and medical devices says revenue totaled $17.56 billion, just shy of analysts' average estimate of $17.69 billion.

J&J said it expects full-year profit of $5.35 to $5.45 per share. Analysts had expected $5.49.

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