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Healthcare Stocks: Second Quarter Earnings a Bitter Pill to Swallow

Healthcare stocks have been a hot topic since the Obamacare ruling marked a historic turning point for the industry - but so far companies' earnings have failed to keep the excitement going.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was the first of the big healthcare stocks to release earnings, and the health care giant was in need of one of its trademark B and-A ids when it reported second- quarter net income fell by half.

With others in the sector set to report in the coming days, the mainstream numbers look weak.

J&J, dealing with tough market conditions, continuing manufacturing problems and other issues, lowered its profit forecast for the year. Second- quarter net income suffered due to a spate of litigation and acquisition- related charges.

The New Brunswick, N J - based company's r evenue slid by 0.7% on lower sales in the United States and lagging sales for consumer health products worldwide.

While results beat analysts' expectations for adjusted profit by a penny, they missed revenue forecasts by nearly $250 million.

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