Higher sales across divisions lift Johnson & Johnson as healthcare sector recovers

Johnson & Johnson’s sales climbed in the latest quarter compared with the same stretch of last year, reflecting a return of more doctor’s visits and medical procedures after the pandemic disrupted the industry.

The company’s revenue rose 11% year over year in the third quarter to $23.34 billion. Its results are closely watched in the healthcare sector because its products span multiple categories.

Medical-device sales grew 7.6% amid a higher level of surgical procedures. Pharmaceutical sales were up 14%, the result of more prescriptions of drugs for multiple myeloma, inflammatory diseases and other conditions. Johnson & Johnson’s sales of consumer products such as Tylenol, Motrin and skin-care lines rose 5.7%. Those sales trends exclude acquisitions and divestitures.

Earnings were $1.37 a share—up from $1.33 a year ago—or $2.60 a share after stripping out one-time items. Wall Street analysts had been forecasting sales of $23.64 billion and adjusted earnings of $2.35 a share, according to FactSet.

The quarterly report is to be the last released during the tenure of Chief Executive Alex Gorsky, who took up the position nine years ago. Joaquin Duato, a longtime executive at the company, is set to take over as CEO in January.

Last week, an advisory panel recommended that the Food and Drug Administration approve an additional dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine to boost the protection it delivers. The FDA must now decide whether to clear a second shot. The panel recommended people get a second dose at least two months after their first shot.

Of the roughly 189.3 million Americans considered fully vaccinated, about 8% received Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost all others were vaccinated with two-dose regimens from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE or from Moderna Inc.

Also last week, Johnson & Johnson took a step pressing for settlement of tens of thousands of lawsuits alleging links between its talc-based products and cancer. It placed into bankruptcy a corporate entity that holds its liabilities for the lawsuits, following a tactic used to protect assets and boosting a settlement’s appeal for plaintiffs.

The company, which didn’t declare bankruptcy itself, has maintained that its baby powder was safe and didn’t contain asbestos. Johnson & Johnson stopped selling the product last year.

After the latest quarter’s earnings growth, Johnson & Johnson raised its forecast for full-year profits. It now expects adjusted earnings of $9.77 a share to $9.82 a share in 2021, compared with its July outlook of $9.60 a share to $9.70 a share.

Its stock rose 1.4% in premarket trading after closing on Monday at $160.12.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text




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