Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) investors got a pleasant surprise yesterday.

Slowing sales of its cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, weren't surprising, since partner Merck (NYSE: MRK) let the cat out of the bag earlier this week. What was surprising was how little the slowdown in cholesterol drug sales affected the bottom line. Looks like the company chose to diversify in the nick of time.

Sales of Schering's drugs were up 56% year over year thanks in large part to its acquisition of Organon BioSciences. Even excluding the effects of the acquisition, total revenue was up 13% year over year.

Leading the pack, sales of Remicade -- which it sells for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) outside the U.S. -- increased 36%. Brain cancer drug Temodar also saw stellar 20% year-over-year growth as it approaches blockbuster status.

Schering's adjusted earnings, backing out acquisition costs, were $0.53 per share compared to $0.42 per share in the year-ago quarter. That's not too shabby, especially when you consider that the synergies with Organon and the cuts that the company recently announced haven't kicked in yet.

Schering is up more than 30% from its low after getting clobbered at the American College of Cardiology meeting last month. However, it is still well off the share prices in place before the Enhance data was released last January. It may take years for the company's stock to get back there, which, not coincidentally, is the same amount of time that it will take for the company to prove that its cholesterol drugs not only lower cholesterol, but also reduce heart attacks and save lives. In the meantime, the new Schering-Plough doesn't look too shabby.

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Johnson & Johnson is a selection of the Income Investor newsletter. The Fool has a disclosure policy.