* Adj. earnings beat Street on lower taxes, expenses
* Slowing pharma sales lead to revenue miss
* Shares slip 1.2 pct to $124.10 (Adds details, forecast; updates shares)
April 18 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson reported on Tuesday quarterly revenue that missed estimates due to slowing pharmaceutical sales, but the company, which is in the process of closing its $30 billion acquisition of Actelion, raised its 2017 forecast.
Pharmaceutical sales were hurt mainly by lower-than-expected demand for its blood thinner Xarelto, cancer drug Zytiga, and autoimmune treatments Simponi and Stelara.
Sales in the segment rose 0.8 percent to $8.25 billion, below Barclays estimate of $8.47 billion.
The Band-Aid maker got off to a rocky start this year, forecasting in January sales and profit for 2017 below Street estimates, and said it expected a slower growth rate for pharmaceuticals in the year.
A week later, however, it announced it had beat out France’s Sanofi SA, clinching the deal to buy Swiss biotech firm Actelion. J&J in February agreed to sell its Codman neurosurgery business for more than $1 billion.
On Tuesday, the company raised its 2017 forecast to reflect the Actelion acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter.
J&J raised its sales expectations to $75.40 billion-$76.10 billion and adjusted profit to $7.00-$7.15 per share.
In January, the company forecast revenue of $74.10 billion-$74.80 billion and adjusted earnings of $6.93-$7.08 per share.
J&J is the first of the major pharmaceutical companies to report quarterly results, a month after the Republican attempt to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system spectacularly failed, although a renewed effort is said to be in the works.
The diversified healthcare company said sales rose to $17.77 billion in the first quarter from $17.48 billion a year earlier, but came in below analysts’ average estimate of $18.04 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net earnings in the first quarter were $4.42 billion, or $1.61 per share, compared with $4.46 billion, or $1.59 per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding items, J&J earned $1.83 per share, beating Street expectations of $1.77, helped by lower operating expenses and taxes.
The company’s shares slipped 1.2 percent to $124.10 in trading before the bell on Tuesday. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D‘Couto)