On the surface, Johnson & Johnson's
Sales were up 8.3% in the second quarter, but that was almost entirely due to overseas sales growth; U.S. sales were up just 0.1%. And only a third of the overseas increase was due to operational growth; a weak dollar contributed the other two-thirds of the growth by making overseas sales higher when reported in dollars.
One big highlight of the earnings report was the sale of consumer products in the United States, which fell only 8.5% in the second quarter. It's still a negative number, but it sure beats the 13.8% drop in the first quarter and the whopping 28.8% drop in the fourth quarter of last year. With recalls winding down, Johnson & Johnson can focus on winning back the customers it lost to Bayer, Merck
Johnson & Johnson's other two divisions -- pharmaceuticals and medical devices -- posted operational gains both here and abroad. The latter is likely to take a hit in the coming quarters as Johnson & Johnson proceeds to withdraw from the drug-eluting-stent market. But after getting beaten up by Boston Scientific
Is Johnson & Johnson going to recover? Of course it is; it's Johnson & Johnson, a 125-year-old company. But we'll need to see a few quarters of positive sales growth in consumer products before we can say the turnaround has truly begun.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and Abbott Laboratories. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer and creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.