Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ – $99.52) reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations and adjusted its outlook higher. Adjusted net earnings per share came in at $1.71, above the consensus of $1.69, but below last year’s tally of $1.78 per share. Sales declined 8.8% to $17.79 billion from last year’s second quarter of $19.5 billion, but in line with Street estimates of $17.76 billion, as U.S. sales fell 2.4% and international sales dropped 14%. The negative impact of currency translation was 7.9%. Consumer sales slipped 7% to $3.5 billion, matching expectations. Positive contributors to consumer results were sales of over-the-counter products including ZYRTEC® allergy medications and TYLENOL® analgesics; international feminine protection products; and LISTERINE® oral care products. Pharmaceutical sales declined 6.6% to $7.9 billion. Worldwide operational sales growth in drugs was driven by new products and the strength of core products. New product sales growth was negatively affected by lower sales of OLYSIO® in the U.S and lower sales of SOVRIAD® in Japan due to competitive entrants. Strong growth in new pharmaceutical products include INVOKANA®/ INVOKAMET® for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes; international sales of OLYSIO®, for combination treatment of chronic hepatitis C; IMBRUVICA®, in treating certain B-cell malignancies; XARELTO® , an oral anticoagulant; and ZYTIGA®, for treatment of prostate cancer. Medical Device sales for the quarter decreased 12.2% versus the prior year consisting of an operational decrease of 4.7% and a negative currency impact of 7.5%. Primary contributors to growth were sales of endocutters; cardiac electrophysiology products; joint reconstruction products; international sales of contact lenses in the Vision Care business; and sales of biosurgicals and energy products in the Specialty Surgery business. For the full year, the company revised its EPS outlook, excluding special items to $6.10 to $6.20 from $6.04 to $6.19. The shares of JNJ have been trading in a narrow range since January. Nonetheless, long-term, conservative investors willing to sacrifice some potential returns for a high degree of safety and a generous yield 3%, may continue to find this equity of interest.