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Johnson & Johnson Q4 Earnings: stellar pharma sales help deliver upbeat results

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) kicked off pharma earnings for the fourth-quarter as it posts higher-than-expected quarterly results on January 22, before market trading hours.

The pharma-retail-healthcare giant saw sales inch 1% up to $20.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Operational sales results rose 3.3%. Domestic sales increased 1.5%, while international sales grew 0.4%.

Net profit was $3 billion vs. loss of $10.7 billion a year ago. Johnson & Johnson reported diluted earnings of $1.12 per share for the three-month period, a turn around from the $3.99 per share loss last year.

Adjusted earnings grew about 13% to $5.4 billion or $1.97 per diluted share.

While both Medical and Consumer segments saw sales slow down, it was the robust 5.3% sales growth in the Pharmaceutical segment that helped Johnson & Johnson see the quarter through.

For the full-year 2018, worldwide sales rose 6.7% to $81.6 billion. Among the total metric, domestic sales rose 5.1% while international sales increased 8.5%.

“Johnson & Johnson delivered another year of strong operational sales growth of 6.3% and achieved our 35th consecutive year of adjusted operational earnings growth at 9.8% in 2018,” said CEO Alex Gorsky in a company statement.

J&J fourth quarter 2018 earnings infographic

TROUBLES AHEAD

In the first week of January, shares of the company slipped 1% shortly after it reported a 3% sales dip in India in the year ending March 2018. In a regulatory filing with the Corporate Affairs Ministry of India, total sales reportedly fell 7% to about $829 million during this period, hurt by weakness in the medical devices segment after the Asian country imposed strict measures to cap the pricing in the segment.

The negative publicity surrounding Johnson and Johnson baby talc products also pulled the sales of the consumer segment down in India.

The tainted talc has been snowballing into a massive threat for Johnson and Johnson for some time now — since 2016 to be exact.

Alphastreet Earnings Transcript: Johnson & Johnson Q4 2018

As the pharma giant heads into 2019, investors started showing signs of paranoia — especially after the $4.69 billion compensation slapped on the company in July.

Then in December of 2018, a Reuters report alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew about the presence of cancer-causing asbestos in its talc products since 1971. The news agency cited unsealed court documents to back its findings. Shares slipped 11% then, wiping $45 billion from the company’s market value.

In the coming months, all eyes would be on the international giant on how it plans to tackle allegations and the corresponding sales slip.

 

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