Johnson & Johnson shares fall after company beats on earnings and revenue, but lowers pharmaceutical sales guidance

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Johnson & Johnson reported adjusted earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street’s expectations on Tuesday, and lifted its full-year forecast.

J&J, whose financial results are considered a bellwether for many health companies, said its first-quarter sales grew 5.6% over the same quarter last year. 

The consumer staples giant reported a net loss of $68 million, or 3 cents per share, due to a special one-time charge. That’s compared to a net income of $5.2 billion, or $1.93 per share, for the same period a year ago. Excluding certain items, adjusted earnings per share were $2.68 for the period.

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

  • Earnings per share:  $2.68 adjusted, vs. $2.50 expected
  • Revenue: $24.75 billion, vs. $23.67 billion expected

J&J is now forecasting 2023 sales of $97.9 billion to $98.9 billion, about $1 billion higher than the guidance provided in January. The company raised its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to $10.60 to $10.70 per share, from a previous forecast of $10.45 to $10.65.

The company’s shares rose nearly 2% in premarket trading. The stock is down more than 6% for the year through Monday’s close, putting the company’s market value at roughly $430 billion. 

CFO Joseph Wolk told CNBC on Tuesday that J&J raised its guidance due to strong growth across all three business sectors — consumer health, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

“If you think about how we started the year and guidance in January, we were responsibly cautious,” he said on “Squawk Box.” ”First-quarter growth was much stronger than even fourth-quarter growth for all three business units, and our positions kind of change to responsibly optimistic at this point. We feel very good about 2023.”

J&J reported $13.4 billion in pharmaceutical sales, which grew more than 4% over the same quarter last year. The company said that increase was driven by sales of Darzalex, a biologic for the treatment of multiple myeloma, and the blockbuster drug Stelara, which is used to treat a number of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. But the company will lose patent protection on Stelara later this year.  

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company entered this earnings season with its shares on the rise after it offered more clarity on the long-running legal fight over its talc-based baby powder products. Earlier this month, J&J  proposed to pay nearly $9 billion over the next 25 years to settle thousands of allegations that its baby powder and other talc products caused cancer. 

J&J will hold an earnings call at 8:30 a.m. E.T.

Read the full J&J earnings report.

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