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Johnson & Johnson beats on earnings, hikes full-year guidance as medtech sales surge

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In this photo illustration the stock trading graph of Johnson and Johnson is seen on a smartphone screen.
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Johnson & Johnson on Thursday reported second-quarter revenue and adjusted earnings that topped Wall Street’s expectations, and lifted its full-year guidance as sales from the company’s medtech business jumped.

The medtech division provides devices for surgeries, orthopedics and vision. The company is benefitting from a rebound in demand for non-urgent surgeries among older adults, who deferred those procedures during the pandemic. That increased demand has been observed by health insurers like UnitedHealth Group and Elevance Health.

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Here’s how J&J results compared with Wall Street expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $2.80 adjusted, vs. $2.62 expected
  • Revenue: $25.53 billion, vs. $24.62 billion expected

Shares of J&J rose about 2% in premarket trading Thursday. J&J’s stock has dropped more than 10% for the year, putting the company’s market value at roughly $412 billion. 

J&J, whose financial results are considered a bellwether for the broader health sector, said its sales during the quarter grew 6.3% over the same period last year. 

The pharmaceutical giant reported a net income of $5.14 billion, or $1.96 per share. That compares with a net income of $4.8 billion, or $1.80 per share, for the same period a year ago.

Excluding certain items, adjusted earnings per share were $2.80 for the period.

J&J is now forecasting full-year sales of $98.80 billion to $99.80 billion, about $1 billion higher than the guidance provided in April.

The company raised its 2023 adjusted earnings outlook to $10.70 to $10.80 per share, from a previous forecast of $10.60 to $10.70 per share.

Sales for the company’s medical devices business rose to $7.79 billion, up 12.9% from the second quarter of 2022. J&J said its acquisition of Abiomed, a cardiovascular medical technology company, in December fueled that rise.

J&J reported $13.73 billion in pharmaceutical sales, which grew more than 3% year over year. Excluding sales of its unpopular Covid vaccine, the pharmaceutical division raked in $13.45 billion. 

The business is focused on developing drugs across different disease areas.

The company said the growth was driven by sales of Darzalex, a biologic for the treatment of multiple myeloma, Erleada, a prostate cancer treatment, and the blockbuster drug Stelara, which is used to treat a number of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. J&J will lose patent protection on Stelara later this year. 

Growth was partially offset by the decline in sales of arthritis drug Remicade, which faces competition from biosimilars, or lower-cost medicines almost identical in structure.

J&J’s quarterly results come amid investor anxiety over the thousands of lawsuits claiming that the company’s talc-based products were contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos, which caused ovarian cancer and several deaths.

Those products, such as J&J’s namesake baby powder, now fall under Kenvue. But J&J will assume all talc-related liabilities that arise in the U.S. and Canada.

In April, J&J’s subsidiary LTL Management filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey, proposing to pay nearly $9 billion to settle more than 38,000 lawsuits and prevent new cases from coming forward. It’s the company’s second attempt to resolve talc claims in bankruptcy court after a federal appeals court rejected an earlier bid. 

Most litigation has been halted during the bankruptcy proceedings.

J&J continues to deny the allegations and contend that its talc-based products don’t cause cancer. 

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