Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is posting a 30% jump in third-quarter profits, beating expectations and potentially giving a dose of strength to health care exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Higher sales of consumer products and medical devices is boosting company profit, and the absence of a $745 million restructuring charge has helped this company beat the odds, reports Linda A. Johnson for the Associated Press.

The New Jersey-based company is a maker of baby-care items as well as contraceptives, medical devices and prescription drugs. The reported net income was at $3.31 billion , while revenue rose 6.3% to $15.9 billion. The revenue increase benefited from the weak dollar.

Meanwhile, company executives attempted to reassure investors with a detailed update on J&J’s drug pipeline, saying it is the most robust in company history, and that J&J is on track to seek approval for seven to 10 new drugs from this year through 2010.

Sales in the consumer product division jumped 13%, driven by the successful launch in January of the allergy drug Zyrtec. Women’s health and skin care products also added to the strength.

  • Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV): down 22.3% year-to-date; Johnson & Johnson is 14.5% (black line)
  • Pharmaceutical HOLDRs (PPH): down 24.4% year-to-date; Johnson & Johnson is 26% (green line)

Pharmaceutical, Health Care Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

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