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Pro Analysis

Johnson & Johnson downgraded by Wells Fargo on slowing sales concern despite Actelion deal

Pharmaceuticals pills drugs
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Wells Fargo lowered its rating on Johnson & Johnson to market perform from outperform, citing the prospect of a sharp slowdown in the pharmaceutical maker's sales this year.

"We are downgrading shares of JNJ ... given the disappointing 2017 revenue guidance the company provided on 1/24," analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. "We believe JNJ's overall growth will decelerate significantly in 2017 due to headwinds in its pharma business."

Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday a deal to acquire Swiss biotech firm Actelion for $30 billion, a move Biegelsen anticipated and does not change his view. The company reported fourth-quarter financial results Tuesday.