Johnson & Johnson Earnings: When Good Enough Just Isn’t Good Enough

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) released its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The health care giant said that it had in $1.97 earnings per share (EPS) and $20.39 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $1.95 in EPS on revenue of $20.17 billion. In the same period of last year, the company said it had EPS of $1.74 and $20.2 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, operational sales results increased 3.3% and the negative impact of currency was 2.3%. Domestic sales increased 1.5% and International sales increased 0.4%, reflecting operational growth of 5.1% and a negative currency impact of 4.7%.

In terms of its sales, Johnson & Johnson reported as follows:

  • Prescription Drug sales increased 5.3% year over year to $10.19 billion.
  • Health Business sales were flat at $3.54 billion.
  • Medical Devices and Diagnostics Business sales dropped 4.4% to $6.67 billion.

Looking ahead to the 2019 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $8.50 to $8.65 and sales between $80.4 billion and $81.2 billion. The consensus estimates are $8.61 in EPS and $82.68 billion in revenue.

Alex Gorsky, board chair and chief executive, commented:

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. This can be attributed to accelerated underlying sales performance across each of our businesses, where we also leveraged our scale across the enterprise to improve margins. Looking ahead, the strength of our broad-based business and disciplined approach to portfolio management positions us to continue to fuel investments in innovation that enable us to capitalize on strategic opportunities and deliver strong performance over the long-term.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson closed Friday at $130.69, in a 52-week range of $118.62 to $148.99. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $145.50. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 1.5% in early trading indications Tuesday.