Analysts Piling On to Raise Johnson & Johnson Price Targets Higher and Higher

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is one of those Dow Jones Industrial Average companies that seems to just keep chugging ever higher over time. The company has greatly exceeded its expectations so far in 2017, and prior years have been good for the medical and consumer products giant as well.

Its third-quarter financial results showed $1.90 in earnings per share (EPS) and $19.7 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $1.80 in EPS and revenue of $19.28 billion, and the results compared to EPS of $1.68 and $17.82 billion in revenue from a year ago.

As for the full year outlook, Johnson & Johnson increased both its EPS forecast to $7.25 to $7.30 and sales guidance to $76.1 billion to $76.5 billion. The consensus estimates are $7.18 in EPS and $75.83 billion in revenue.

24/7 Wall St. tracks key analyst calls in the stocks that move the markets and which are important to investors. It has been almost amazing to see just how many price targets have been raised for Johnson & Johnson, and these are considerably higher (see below) than they were at the end of 2016.

Johnson & Johnson posted roughly a 15% return in 2016 after closing out at $115.21, without adjusting for dividends. At the start of 2017, analysts had only a $125.16 price target, and that would have implied an 8.6% upside, plus a dividend yield of 2.8%, for an expected total return of 11.4% for 2017.

The new consensus analyst price target is up to $143.19, but here is how the price target looked in the recent past: one month ago it was $136.89, two months ago at $136.89 and three months ago was $136.28.

Here are some of the Johnson & Johnson price target hikes that have been seen since this week’s earnings report drove shares higher:

  • Argus raised its target price to $165 from $145.
  • Barclays raised its price target to $148 from $140.
  • Merrill Lynch raised its price objective from $140 to $150.
  • CFRA (S&P) raised its price target to $152 from $148.
  • Independent Research raised its target from $140 to $145.
  • Jefferies raised its target price to $161 from $160.
  • JPMorgan raised its target price to $150 from $148.
  • Leerink raised its target price to $165 from $150.
  • Morgan Stanley raised its target price from $140 to $145.
  • Raymond James raised its target price from $143 to $152.
  • Societe Generale raised its price target to $139 from $126.
  • Stifel raised its price target to $142 from $140
  • RBC Capital markets raised its target to $147 from $144.

The shares were down 0.2% at $140.54 late Wednesday morning, but that was after a 3.4% post-earnings gain from the $136.12 pre-earnings closing price.