Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported disappointing third-quarter sales on Tuesday, but beat earnings forecasts thanks to cost-cutting and raised its full-year profit forecast.

The diversified healthcare company said net earnings rose 1.1 percent to $3.35 billion, or $1.20 per share. That compared with $3.31 billion, or $1.17 per share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast $1.13 per share.

Company sales fell 5.3 percent to $15.08 billion, shy of the analysts' forecast of $15.22 billion.

The company said prescription drug sales fell more than 14 percent, hurt by generic competition for its Topamax epilepsy drug and Risperdal schizophrenia treatment.

J&J shares fell 1.6 percent to $61.55 in premarket trading.