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Shares of Johnson & Johnson

rose 2.3% toward a two-month high in premarket trading Tuesday, after the drug and consumer products company reported third-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations, with all of its business segments topping forecasts. Net income rose to $4.46 billion, or $1.68 a share, from $3.67 billion, or $1.37 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share slipped to $2.55 from $2.60 but was above the FactSet consensus of $2.48. Sales grew 1.9% to $23.79 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $23.36 billion. Cost of sales rose 7.7%, as gross margin contracted to 67.2% from 68.9%. Among business segments, sales for Pharmaceutical rose 2.6% to $13.21 billion to beat the FactSet consensus of $12.89 billion; Consumer Health fell 0.4% to $3.80 billion, but topped expectations of $3.72 billion; and MedTech rose 2.1% to $6.78 billion to beat expectations of $6.71 billion. For 2022, the company narrowed its adjusted EPS guidance range to $10.02 to $10.07 from $10.00 to $10.10 but lowered its reported sales guidance to $93.0 billion to $93.5 billion from $93.3 billion to $94.3 billion. The stock has slipped 2.6% year to date through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average

has dropped 16.9%.

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