Higher 3Q profit, improved outlook for Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson’s third-quarter profit jumped 23%, beating Wall Street forecasts, thanks to higher sales of its key medicines for cancer and immune disorders and an acquisition-related charge a year earlier.

The world’s biggest maker of health care products also raised its financial forecast for the year, and its shares jumped more than 2% in premarket action.

J&J on Tuesday reported net income of $4.83 billion, or $1.81 per share. That was up from $3.93 billion, or $1.44 per share, in 2018’s third quarter, when the drugmaker took a $1.13 billion charge related to research programs acquired with its purchase of Alios BioPharma.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $2.12 per share, easily topping analysts’ projections for $2, according to a survey of analysts by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue of $20.73 billion, up 2% from $20.35 billion a year ago, also beat forecasts.

J&J’s prescription drugs business boosted sales 5% to $10.88 billion, led by cancer drugs Darzalex and Imbruvica and by Simponi, Stelara and Tremfya, which treat immune system disorders such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

The consumer products business, which makes Johnson’s baby shampoo, Neutrogena and Aveeno skin care products and pain relievers Tylenol and Motrin, posted a 1.6% increase in sales, to $3.47 billion. The medical device and diagnostics business, once J&J’s biggest segment, saw sales drop 3% to $6.38 billion.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey company forecast 2019 per-share earnings of $8.62 to $8.67, after adjustments for one-time items, and revenue of between $81.8 billion and $82.3 billion. In July, the company forecast adjusted per-share earnings between $8.53 and $8.63, and revenue between $80.8 billion and $81.6 billion.

During the third quarter, Johnson & Johnson received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for additional uses for four of its medicines: blood thinner Xarelto, Type 2 diabetes pill Invokana, prostate cancer drug Erleada and Darzalex, for treating blood cancer multiple myeloma. In the European Union, Stelara received approval for treating ulcerative colitis and cancer drug Imbruvica won approval for two more uses. J&J also launched two new medical devices, a surgical stapler and a new version of its Attune knee replacement system.

In premarket trading, J&J shares jumped $2.38, or 1.8%, to $133.10.


Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ—onPharma


Portions of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.

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