The company raised its earnings guidance for full-year 2009 to $4.54 – $4.59 per share, which excludes the impact of special items.

“We continue to successfully manage our broad base of businesses and deliver solid earnings despite the impact of patent expirations and the challenges posed by the current economic environment,” said William C. Weldon, chairman and chief executive officer. “We completed multiple acquisitions and strategic collaborations and received several new product approvals in the quarter that will benefit patients worldwide and drive future growth.”

Worldwide consumer sales of $4.0 billion for the third quarter represented a decrease of 2.7% versus the prior year with an increase of 1.1% operationally and a negative impact from currency of 3.8%. Domestic sales decreased 4.4%; international sales decreased 1.4%, which reflected an operational increase of 5.2% and a negative currency impact of 6.6%.

Contributing to operational sales growth during the quarter were sales of Dabao skin care products; AVEENO skin care products; SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener; Le Petit Marseillais beauty care products; and LISTERINE antiseptic mouthrinse. Other growth drivers were sales from the acquisition of Vania Expansion SNC.

Worldwide Pharmaceutical sales of $5.3 billion for the third quarter represented a decrease of 14.1% versus the prior year with an operational decline of 11.9% and a negative impact from currency of 2.2%. Domestic sales decreased 19.2%; international sales decreased 7.1%, which reflected an operational decrease of 1.9% and a negative currency impact of 5.2%.

REMICADE (infliximab), a biologic approved for the treatment of a number of immune mediated inflammatory diseases, demonstrated solid sales performance during the quarter. Several other pharmaceutical products had strong growth including PREZISTA (darunavir), a treatment for HIV; VELCADE (bortezomib), a treatment for multiple myeloma; and RISPERDAL CONSTA (risperidone) Long-Acting Treatment, an antipsychotic medication. Sales results of TOPAMAX (topiramate), an antiepileptic and a treatment for migraine, and RISPERDAL (risperidone), an antipsychotic medication, were negatively impacted by generic competition.

During the quarter, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved STELARATM (ustekinumab) for the treatment of adult patients (18 years or older) with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy. The FDA also approved INVEGA SUSTENNA (paliperidone palmitate) extended-release injectable suspension for the acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults; the first once-monthly, long-acting, injectable atypical antipsychotic approved in the U.S. for this use. In addition, the FDA approved the Supplemental New Drug Application for INVEGA (paliperidone) extended-release tablets for the acute treatment of schizoaffective disorder either as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy to mood stabilizers and/or antidepressants.

On Oct. 6, 2009 the European Commission approved SIMPONI (golimumab) as a once-monthly, subcutaneous therapy for the treatment of moderate-to-severe, active rheumatoid arthritis, active and progressive psoriatic arthritis and severe, active ankylosing spondylitis.

During the quarter, the company completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and rights of Elan related to its Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program as well as an equity investment in Elan. Additionally, the company announced that it had entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc., for the development and commercialization of a new fixed dose combination of investigational compound TMC278 (rilpivirine hydrochloride 25 mg) and Gilead’s TRUVADA (emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg) for treatment-naïve adult patients with HIV-1.

Early in the fourth quarter, the company announced that it had entered into a strategic collaboration with Crucell, N.V., focusing on the discovery, development and commercialization of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of influenza and other infectious and non-infectious diseases. The agreement also included an 18% equity investment in Crucell, N.V.

Worldwide Medical Devices and Diagnostics sales of $5.8 billion for the third quarter represented an increase of 2.3% versus the prior year with an operational increase of 4.1% and a negative currency impact of 1.8%. Domestic sales increased 4.5%; international sales increased 0.5%, which reflected an operational increase of 3.8% and a negative currency impact of 3.3%.

Primary contributors to the operational growth included Ethicon’s surgical care and aesthetics products; Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s minimally invasive products; DePuy’s orthopaedic joint reconstruction, spine, and sports medicine businesses; and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics’ professional products. This growth was partially offset by lower sales in the Cordis franchise, reflecting strong competition in the drug-eluting stent market, and the 2008 divestiture of the Professional Wound Care products in our Ethicon business.