Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reported its first quarter earnings before opening bell this morning, exceeding the expectations of Wall Street. The company reported net income of $3.5 billion or $1.22 per share. That’s compared to net income of $3.91 billion or $1.14 per share in the same quarter a year ago.

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The company’s sales rose 8.5 percent to $17.5 billion from the $16.14 billion it reported a year ago. Earnings were $1.44 per share. Consensus for Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) first quarter report was $1.40 per share on $17.42 billion in revenue.

“We delivered solid first quarter results led by the success of many of our recently launched pharmaceutical products and the addition of Synthes to our orthopedics business,” said Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky in a statement. “Our investments to advance our pipelines  and expand our global presence, along with the outstanding efforts of our talented people, will enable us to continue to deliver sustainable growth and meaningful innovations to patients and customers around the world.”

Earnings excluding litigation expenses and costs in connection with its acquisition of the drug Synthes rose to $4.1 billion or $1.44 per share. That’s compared to $3.8 billion or $1.37 per share in the same quarter a year ago.

Johnson & Johnson stated other positive contributors to its results were its over-the-counter medicines Tylenol and Motrin analgesics, as well as its respiratory medicines, baby care products, Listerine mouthwash and Neutrogena skin care products. The company also completed its acquisition of the well-known Chinese baby care company Shanghai Elsker Mother & Baby Co., Ltd, which is known for its natural products, during the quarter.

In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s drug Invokana to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s the first of a new class of drugs called sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors to be approved in the U.S. The company also submitted a new application to the FDA and Japanese health authorities, seeking approval for simeprevir, which would treat genotype 1 chronic hepatitis. It also reported several other pending and approved drugs added to its product line.

The company also confirmed its full-fiscal year earnings guidance of between $5.35 and $5.45 per share.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) rose 1.46 percent in pre-market trading, as of the moment of this writing.