JNJ Stock Rises: Johnson & Johnson Beats Quarterly Views, Plans To ‘Soon’ Release Covid Vaccine Test Results


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.




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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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More contagious U.K. COVID strain is also deadlier, Boris Johnson warns


BARCELONA — It was a bad end to a bad COVID week in Europe. On Friday evening, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that researchers had found “some evidence” that the recently discovered U.K. variant of the coronavirus, which was already known to be more contagious than the original strain and has prompted an alarming surge of cases and a lockdown in that country, “may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.” A 30 percent higher mortality, added his government lead scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, in revealing the assessment by that country’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group. He added there is still “a lot of uncertainty” about exactly how lethal the variant is.

Responding to the news, Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Kavita Patel explained that “10 different studies with models show that the [U.K.] variant has a higher risk of death compared to the non-U.K. variants,” but underscored that “these are studies and models, not necessarily clinical trials.” She added that if the U.K. strain is in fact more deadly, it becomes “more urgent to get vaccines out as soon as possible” and that epidemiologists need to more clearly “understand the spread of the variant here in the U.S.”

The variant, which is believed to be as much as 70 percent more transmissible than the predominant strain in the U.S., has been identified in at least 20 states among Americans with no recent history of foreign travel, indicating it is spreading rapidly. The CDC says it could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March.

The U.K. report hit Spain particularly hard, as new cases there have been spiking since the holiday season ended, with Friday’s announcement of 44,357 new cases breaking all previous daily records. Only the U.S. and Brazil are reporting higher numbers of new cases. At least 5 percent of the cases in this Spanish “third wave” are believed to be the U.K. variant, which the Spanish government’s chief scientific COVID adviser, Fernando Simón, believes will be the dominant strain in Spain within a few weeks.

Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Leon Neal/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The dramatic spike was initially believed to be a reflection of the extended holiday season in Spain, which stretches from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6, during which some restrictions, such as curfews and travel between regions, were eased. However, with hospitalizations hitting new highs, epidemiologists realized that the U.K. variant, which first showed up in Spain a month ago, was evident in increasing numbers, and appears to be fueling the rising cases, particularly in the country’s south.

Thus far, the Spanish national government — which has mandated mask wearing in all public places, including on the streets, curtailed hours of restaurant operations and imposed a nationwide 10 p.m. curfew in October — is denying requests from Spain’s regions to set the curfew to 8 p.m. or to impose a full lockdown.

In fact, in the land where tourism is an economic driver, Spanish authorities have recently announced they hope Spain’s tourism will be back on track by late summer, by which time the prime minister believes at least 70 percent of Spaniards will have been vaccinated, a process that started last month.

Patel stressed that “despite this sobering news, we still believe vaccines can work against these variants and be incredibly important, especially for those at high risk for dying from COVID.” But as vaccines may need to be tweaked to address the British and other new variants, Americans “need to triple down on our public health efforts” such as donning masks and social distancing.

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Bermagui blood donor Rob Johnson goes extra mile and completes 750th donation


A 62-year-old man from the New South Wales Far South Coast is encouraging more people to donate blood, after completing his 750th donation.

Rob Johnson made his first whole blood donation at 18 years old, and continued to do so for a decade before switching to plasma and platelets.

Today, he commemorated his 750th donation at the Garran Lifeblood Centre in Canberra.

“In the overall lottery of life and health, I’ve been very fortunate,” Mr Johnson said.

There is no permanent donor centre in his region, so Mr Johnson makes the trip from his home in Bermagui to Canberra on a fortnightly basis.

It is nearly a 7-hour round trip, but he enjoys the journey.

“I love it. I leave at 4:30am and drive up,” Mr Johnson said.

“Platelets and plasma donations require a special machine and the actual disposables on each donation are quite expensive too.

“They tend to concentrate those collection points in major population centres. So, the closest one to me is Canberra.”

Mr Johnson, along with his wife Elizabeth, enjoyed a celebratory cake in recognition of the milestone.(Supplied: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood)

Mr Johnson is a B positive donor and only eight per cent of people share his blood type.

Plasma from these donors can be given to almost 60 per cent of patients and is used for the treatment of serious burns, cancer and immune conditions.

His donations have not gone unrecognised by his many recipients, some of whom he has been lucky enough to meet.

“About 12 months ago I was on the chair in Canberra with a needle in the arm,” Mr Johnson said.

“A young mum walked in with her three-year-old daughter.

More donors needed

The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is calling for an extra 700 blood donors in NSW to come forward in the lead up to Australia Day to fill low bookings and boost blood stocks for patients.

The organisation has found up to 400 people have cancelled or not showed up to their appointment over the past month.

A man sits in a chair with a needle in his arm as nurse administers it
“This Australia Day, eat lamb and donate blood. It makes sense,” Mr Johnson says.(Supplied: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood)

For Mr Johnson, donating is a “no-brainer”.

“We all know someone who, at some stage of their life, has required a blood product,” he said.

“This Australia Day, eat lamb and donate blood. It makes sense.”

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Paulina Gretzky Instagram, Dustin Johnson girlfriend, are they married, relationship, dad Wayne, nip slip photo


Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of the greatest ice hockey player ever and partner of golf’s number one player, has opened up on life in the spotlight.

She says she had the “best life ever” growing up as Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, but it wasn’t without challenges.

Appearing Tuesday on “The Netchicks” podcast with Natalie Buck and sister-in-law Sara Gretzky, the long-time love of Masters champion Dustin Johnson spoke about keeping herself in check while growing up in the public eye.

“You have to always be reserved. The most important thing is the thing that they worked hardest for, my dad worked his whole life,” Paulina said of her NHL legend father.

“He deserves everything, he doesn’t deserve a brat that gets to be like a crazy person,” she continued.

The elder Gretzky, 59, nicknamed the “Great One,” played 20 seasons in the NHL from 1979 to 1999. Gretzky and wife Janet share five children together, including Paulina, 32.

Paulina said it was difficult to censor herself as she got older.

“I never got to be a kid,” she said. “Not to say I am missing out on things — I had the best life ever — but it’s hard to always have to censor myself when I just wanted to be like everybody else.”

Paulina also opened up about a past wardrobe malfunction and how a photographer chose not to make it public.

“One night I was at this club,” Paulina began, “and I had a nip-slip, and I was crying”.

An emotional Paulina found out who had it and the photographer told her, “You’re one of the kindest people I’ve ever talked to, and I’m not going to put it out there.”

The 32-year-old also elaborated on her relationship status with Johnson, 36.

“I don’t know if people know if me and Dustin are really married or not. We’re not,” Gretzky said. “We’re so in love.”

Engaged since 2013, Gretzky said that while she’s aware of the outside noise, she and Johnson are enjoying their lives together with their two sons, Tatum, 5, and River, 3.

“I feel like everyone is like, ‘What is it? Is he not wanting to or she not wanting to?’ It’s so stupid,” Gretzky said.

“Being just with kids and being happy, I don’t want anything from Dustin other than I love him,” she later added.

Gretzky also spoke about the possibility of expanding their family.

“I want one more,” Gretzky said. “I want to enjoy being 32, 33, and then hopefully, if I’m lucky enough, then I get to have one more at 34.”

Gretzky said while her two sons “are everything,” she’s hopeful for a girl.

– New York Post

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Boris Johnson does not nap at work, says No 10 aide – Channel 4 News


It’s official: Boris Johnson has not been napping on the job. It might be understandable for someone who has been recovering from Covid hospitalisation with a nine-month old baby to want to grab 40 winks occasionally. But according to Number 10’s press secretary, it simply doesn’t happen.

Allegra Stratton said there is simply no space for a siesta as Boris Johnson’s day is jam-packed. The story was awoken by The Times newspaper and Downing Street is clearly concerned about it denting the PM’s popularity.

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Brexit: Boris Johnson promises compensation to firms experiencing issues exporting to EU | Politics News


Businesses experiencing problems exporting to the EU “through no fault of their own” will receive compensation, the prime minister has said.

Boris Johnson said he “understands the frustrations” of businesses exporting to the continent who have run into issues since new post-Brexit UK-EU trading rules came into effect.

He was speaking after angry seafood hauliers stacked their lorries outside Downing Street in protest.

Image:
Police said 14 people had been given fines after Monday’s protest

They have complained of being “tied in knots with paperwork” and about new checks, resulting in delays exporting fresh fish and seafood to the EU since the start of the year.

“I sympathise very much and understand their frustrations and things have been exacerbated by COVID and the demand hasn’t been what it was before the pandemic and that’s one of the problems we’re trying to deal with. That’s driven in large part by the pandemic,” the prime minister said.

“Where businesses, through no fault of their own, have faced difficulties exporting where there is a genuine willing buyer, there’s a £23m fund to help out.”

Despite their difficulties, Mr Johnson said there would be “great opportunities” for fishermen UK-wide to “to take advantage of the spectacular marine wealth of the United Kingdom”.

He added: “In just five-and-a-half years’ time, we will have access to all the fish in all our waters.

“And just now, we have access to 25% more than we did just a month ago. That means there is scope for fishing communities across the UK to take advantage of the increase in quota.

“What we’re going to do is give people a helping hand and that’s why we’ve set up the £100m fund to help people with boats, to help with the fish processing industry, the opportunity is massive.”

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Fisherman’s rant over Brexit red tape

Fourteen people had been given fines after Monday morning’s protest, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.

“The industry is being tied in knots with paperwork requirements which would be easy enough to navigate, given that companies have put in the time and training in order to have all the relevant procedures in place for 1st January 2021,” said a spokesperson for D R Collin & Son, a Berwickshire-based firm that took part in the London demonstration.

“However, all the training is going to waste as the technology is outdated and cannot cope with the demands being placed on it – which in turn is resulting in no produce being able to leave the UK.

“These are not ‘teething issues’ as reported by the government and the consequences of these problems will be catastrophic on the lives of fishermen, fishing towns and the shellfish industry as a whole.”

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Brexit issues not just ‘teething problems’ – Justin King

Alasdair Hughson, chairman of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, said the industry wanted to “make its voice heard loud and clear”.

“If this debacle does not improve very soon we are looking at many established businesses coming to the end of the line,” he said.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said ministers were “trying to blame the fishing communities rather than accepting it’s their failure to prepare”.

He said: “They are beyond frustrated, they are pretty angry about what’s gone on because the government has known there would be a problem with fishing and particularly the sale of fish into the EU for years.”

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s rural economy secretary, said the new trading rules were having a “catastrophic impact on Scotland’s food and drink export industry” and any compensation may be “too little too late” for some businesses.

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Covid-19: Boris Johnson makes daily jab pledge as Army helps rollout



Boris Johnson says the armed forces will use “battle preparation techniques” to help vaccinate millions.

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COVID-19: Boris Johnson to hold Downing Street news conference from 5pm | Politics News


Boris Johnson will hold a news conference with England’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser later today, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister will be joined by Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance from 5pm, on the first day of England’s third national lockdown.

In a national address on Monday, Mr Johnson announced another shutdown to try and control the spread of COVID-19.

Live COVID updates as lockdown begins

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Tighter restrictions as new lockdown begins

People are once again being told to stay home, apart from for a limited number of exceptions, while schools and colleges will be closed to the majority of pupils.

Offering some potential light at the end of the tunnel, the PM spoke of his hope that everyone in the top four priority groups for vaccination will have been offered a jab by the middle of February, allowing restrictions to start being eased.

A surge in cases is being driven by a new variant of coronavirus that has been judged to be between 50% and 70% more transmissible.

As of Monday, there were 26,626 COVID patients in hospital in England – an increase of over 30% in one week and now more than 40% higher than the peak of the first wave of infections last April.

There has also been a near 25% increase in the number of deaths in the past seven days, compared to the previous week.

A senior minister told Sky News earlier that the government “should be able” to begin easing the lockdown in March.

Michael Gove said the public should not expect a sudden relaxation of the rules, with restrictions “progressively” eased instead.

“We will keep these constantly under review but you are absolutely right, we can’t predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing February 15-22,” he said.

“What we will be doing is everything that we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, so that we can begin to progressively lift restrictions.

“I think it is right to say that as we enter March we should be able to lift some of these restrictions, but not necessarily all.”

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‘Some restrictions could be lifted in March’

He warned of “very, very difficult weeks ahead” and said the country was in a “race against time” against the variant.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Sky News he has some “quarrels and criticisms” with the government over the latest shutdown, but added that “everybody recognises how serious this is”.

“This is a time where we all have to say we will support the restrictions and do what we can to make these work,” he said.

Sir Keir said he had “doubts” about the vaccination target outlined by the PM, adding: “This is a race against time – I want the government to succeed… and I will offer my support.”

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Coronavirus Australia live updates January 5, 2021: Four new cases in NSW as Berala and some Western Sydney residents banned from Sydney test cricket match; Worries about Berala teen who went to regional NSW; PM’s push to get Victorians home; Three new local cases in Victoria as temple added to exposure sites; Fresh UK lockdown ordered by Boris Johnson


NSW Health has released a new list of venues in the state’s west that were visited by a teenager who has since tested positive to coronavirus.

An 18-year-old who went to the Berala BWS – the centre of a current outbreak – on Christmas Eve then went to Broken Hill, Orange, and Nyngan.

Anyone who attended the following venues is a close contact who must get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result:

  • Broken Hill: Gourmet Cribtin, 305 Argent St, Saturday, 2 January, 10.40am – 11.20am
  • Orange: Birdie Noshery and Drinking est. 120-122 Summer Street, Sunday, 3 January, 12.30pm – 2pm

Anyone who has attended the following venue at the following times is a casual contact and must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received, and continue to monitor for symptoms and test again if any symptoms develop:

  • Nyngan: Nyngan Riverside Tourist Park, Barrier Hwy and Mitchell Hwy, Saturday, 2 January to Sunday, 3 January

Anyone who attended the following service stations must monitor for symptoms and if they appear, immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:

  • Broken Hill: Broken Hill Shell, 164 Williams St, Saturday, 2 January, 10.52am – 10.55am
  • Nyngan: Nyngan BP, 180 Mitchell Hwy Nyngan on Sunday, 3 January, 9.10am – 9.13am

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson flags tougher COVID-19 restrictions likely on the way



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has flagged that more coronavirus restrictions are probably on the way for England, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The country’s cases are at record levels and increasing, fuelled by a new and more transmissible variant of the virus.

The Government has already cancelled the planned reopening of schools in and around London, with calls from teaching unions for wider closures.

Much of England is already under the toughest level of restriction set out in a four-tier system of regional regulations designed to stop the spread of the virus and protect the national healthcare system.

But Mr Johnson, asked in a BBC interview about concerns that the system may not be enough to bring the virus back under control, said that restrictions “alas, might be about to get tougher”.

“There are obviously a range of tougher measures that we would have to consider … I’m not going to speculate now about what they would be,” he said.

Mr Johnson sets policy for England, with rules in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales set by their devolved authorities.

Britain registered a record 57,725 new cases of the virus on Saturday.

With more than 74,000 deaths so far during the pandemic, the Government’s response has been heavily criticised.

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However the rollout of vaccines is set to accelerate on Monday, with the first 530,000 doses of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines ready to be administered, Mr Johnson said.

He added he hoped “tens of millions” would be treated over the next three months.

Addressing concerns over education, with millions of students set to return from their Christmas holidays on Monday, Mr Johnson said schools were safe.

He advised parents to send their children there in areas where it was allowed.

“There is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe, and that education is a priority,” he said.

The schools issue has split opinion, with unions and some local authorities warning against reopening and threatening to act against government advice.

Others have said closures have a big negative impact on students.

“We must renew and maintain the consensus that children’s time out of school should be kept to the absolute minimum,” Amanda Spielman, chief schools inspector, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.

Reuters



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