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Johnson & Johnson: Recalled drugs delayed again

By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that consumers may have to wait until the end of the year before drugstore shelves start to fill up again with its recalled children's Tylenol, Motrin and Bendryl.

During a meeting with analysts and investors, company executives said J&J (JNJ, Fortune 500) had shipped a small amount - about 4 million bottles of Children's Tylenol - to stores last quarter.

J&J had hoped to restock retailers with all the recalled children's medicines by the middle of 2011. However, executives said Tuesday that retailers wouldn't receive adequate supplies of those medicines until the later half of the year, "slightly later than expected."

J&J halted production at its Ft. Washington Pa. plant in May, where its pediatric pain and cold drugs are manufactured, following a recall of millions of those medicines for quality concerns. Facing shortages, It shifted production to one of its Canadian plants hoping to normalize supplies.

Also on Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500) reported fourth-quarter profits that met analysts' estimates, despite softer-than-expected sales.

The company said sales in the quarter were significantly hurt by its numerous recalls of Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl products and the suspension of manufacturing at the the Fort Washington plant.

Those recalls, followed by an absence of those medicine in stores, significantly hurt the company's over-the-counter drugs business. Its OTC sales tumbled 53% in the fourth quarter, costing the company $300 million in lost sales in the period as $900 million in lost sales for the year.

Johnson & Johnson also issued a full-year 2011 profit outlook of between $4.80 to $4.90 a share, also weaker than analysts' estimates.

Analysts, on average, had expected the company to earn $4.97 a share on average for the year, according to Thomson Reuters.  To top of page

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