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Johnson & Johnson Reports Profit Beat And Lifts Dividend By 4.2%

Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) first-quarter profit got a boost from strong sales of medical devices, the consumer healthcare company has reported.

Johnson & Johnson, whose financial results are viewed as a bellwether for the American healthcare sector, announced earnings per share of $2.71 U.S. versus $2.64 U.S. that was expected among analysts.

Revenue in the quarter came in at $21.38 billion U.S. compared to $21.40 billion U.S. that was forecast on Wall Street. Sales rose 2% from a year earlier.

The company’s Medtech division that makes devices for surgeries, orthopedics and vision saw a rebound in sales during Q1 as demand grows for nonurgent surgeries among elderly adults.

Johnson & Johnson’s medical device business generated sales of $7.82 billion U.S. in Q1, up 4% from a year ago.

The company has made growing its medical device business a priority, recently announcing a $13.10 billion U.S. acquisition of heart device firm Shockwave Medical (SWAV).

Johnson & Johnson bought two other heart device companies over the last two years, spending $16.60 billion U.S. to buy Abiomed and $400 million U.S. to buy privately held Laminar.

Along with its latest earnings print, Johnson & Johnson also said that it will increase its quarterly dividend payment to $1.24 U.S. a share, up 4.2% from $1.19 U.S. per share previously.

This marks the company’s 62nd year of consecutive dividend increases, making it a “dividend king,” which is a company that has raised its dividend for 50 years or longer.

The new dividend is payable to shareholders on June 4 of this year.

Looking ahead, Johnson & Johnson narrowed its full-year guidance, saying it now expects sales of $88 billion U.S. to $88.40 billion U.S.

That compares to a previous forecast of $87.80 billion U.S. to $88.60 billion U.S. in revenue.

The company also now expects earnings of $10.57 U.S. to $10.72 U.S. a share, compared to previous guidance for $10.55 U.S. to $10.75 U.S. in per share earnings.

Johnson & Johnson’s stock has declined 11% over the last 12 months to trade at $147.59 U.S. a share.