Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) beat fourth-quarter estimates and said it would “soon” release pivotal test results for its coronavirus vaccine — leading JNJ stock to pop Tuesday.
During the fourth quarter, Johnson & Johnson earned $1.86 per share, on an adjusted basis. Earnings declined 1.1% while sales grew 8.3% to $22.48 billion. Both measures beat the view of analysts polled by FactSet for J&J earnings of $1.82 per share on $21.66 billion in sales.
Chief Executive Alex Gorsky commented that Johnson & Johnson was “built for times like these.” The Dow Jones pharmaceutical company is working on a highly anticipated one-shot coronavirus vaccine. It’s the only high-profile effort that doesn’t require two injections.
“We continue to progress our Covid-19 vaccine candidate and look forward to sharing details from our Phase 3 study soon,” Gorsky said in a written statement.
In premarket trading on the stock market today, JNJ stock jumped 1.9% near 169.
JNJ Stock Rises On Quarterly Beat
The best fourth-quarter growth came from Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals division. Drug sales popped 16.5% to $12.27 billion. Meanwhile, consumer health sales eked out a 1.4% gain and medical device sales slipped 0.7%.
Johnson & Johnson noted the consumer health division was impacted by Covid-19 pandemic as fewer people bought skin health and beauty products. Internationally, baby care products also took a hit. The pandemic also resulted in deferred medical procedures, slugging the medical devices unit.
But the company noted strong sales of treatments for inflammation, psoriasis/arthritis, schizophrenia and cancer. Drugs that treat lung conditions, Opsumit and Uptravi, also experienced growth. That was partially offset by declines for inflammation drug Remicade and cancer drugs Zytiga and Velcade.
Johnson & Johnson Guides Up
Still, JNJ stock enjoyed a pop on guidance. For the year ending in 2021, Johnson & Johnson expects $90.5 billion to $91.7 billion in sales, growing 9.5%-11%. Adjusted earnings are expected to come in at $9.40-$9.60 per share, rising 17.1%-19.6%.
Both measures easily beat analysts’ estimate for J&J to earn $8.96 per share on $88.6 billion in sales.
Tuesday’s earnings report put JNJ stock at a fresh high. Shares of JNJ stock broke out of a flat base and a buy point at 155.57 in December, according to MarketSmith.com.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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