Johnson & Johnson Ups Guidance Thanks to Growth in Pharmaceuticals Unit

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson raised its full year guidance again as the giant in health care topped expectations for its most recent quarter. The numbers were helped by the growth it enjoyed in its pharmaceutical segment.

The company, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey is now expecting its earnings for the full year to be between $6.63 and $6.73 per share, which is up from a guidance it released previously of between $6.53 and $6.68 per share.

The company also raised its forecast for revenue to between $71.5 billion and $72.2 billion that was up from its previous forecast of between $71.2 billion and $71.9 billion.

With close to half of J&J’s sales overseas, the results were pressured of late by the strong U.S. dollar and weakness in certain emerging markets.

However, CEO Alex Gorsky cited strong underlying growth throughout the company noting continued success of its new products

J&J’s pharma business, the largest of the company, expanded by 8.9% to over $8.65 billion thanks to an increase of 13.2% in pharmaceutical sales across the U.S.

The company highlighted the strong growth of new products such as Imbruvica a drug for blood cancer, Xarelto a blood thinner, Darzalex a drug for multiple melanoma, Invokamet and Invokana treatments for Type 2 diabetes and Zytiga a drug for prostate cancer.

Sales of Olysio a drug for hepatitis C has been over shadowed by newer medications and has continued slowing down.

Other businesses under the J&J umbrella did not perform up to what the pharmaceutical business did.

During its second quarter, sales of consumer health products at J&J dropped by 1.8% to just over $3.42 billion due in large part to the devaluation of currency in Venezuela. Its consumer business has gone through problems with its supply chain that caused recalls.

J&J’s sales for its medical devices move up slightly by 0.8% to end the quarter at $6.41 billion, which represented approximately 35% of the revenue of the company.

The medical device segment was at one time the largest at J&J, but has stumbled somewhat, amidst pressure on prices, more competition and changes in the marketplace.

In response, the company exited some areas, changed how devices are sold and re-focused on categories of high growth such as staplers and robotics.

This past January, J&J made an announcement that it would cut 3,000 jobs in the aforementioned medical device segment or approximately 2.5% of the total workforce of the company.

In all, earnings for the quarter just ended, dropped to just over $3.99 billion equal to $1.43 per share compared to last year during the same quarter of $4.52 billion equal to $1.61 per share.

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David Glass

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