Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said its quarterly earnings fell, hurt by generic competition for its Risperdal schizophrenia drug and the strong dollar, but lower costs enabled the company to beat Wall Street expectations

The diversified health-care company, whose shares rose more than 3 percent in premarket trading, said it earned $3.51 billion, or $1.26 per share, in the first quarter. That compared with $3.6 billion, or $1.26 per share, in the year-earlier period.

Analysts on average expected $1.22 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

J&J reaffirmed its 2009 profit forecast of $4.45 to $4.55 per share.

All eyes are likely to focus on J&J's results on Tuesday because it is a component of the Dow Jones industrial average and the first major U.S. health-care company to report first-quarter results.

Global company revenue fell 7.2 percent to $15 billion in the period, well below the $15.43 billion Reuters Estimates forecast. Sales would have fallen only about 1 percent if not for the stronger dollar, which depresses the value of overseas sales when converted back into U.S. currency.

But J&J bolstered results by cutting spending more than 10 percent on research, and on sales, general and administrative expenses.

They've managed things well, reducing expenses the way they had telegraphed they would, and it's going straight to the bottom line, said Steve Brozak, an analyst with WBB Securities.

This is a game of expectations, and even though sales were weak across all three of J&J's business units, people were expecting far worse numbers, Brozak said.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson, additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)