Health and Science

Johnson & Johnson beats Wall Street expectations on profit, misses on revenue

Key Points
  • Johnson & Johnson's fiscal fourth-quarter profit beat Wall Street's expectations while the company missed slightly on revenue.
  • Litigation expenses were $264 million in the quarter, compared with the massive $1.29 billion a year earlier
Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J.
Mel Evans | AP

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street's expectations but missed slightly on revenue.

J&J's stock fell by about 1.6% just before the opening bell.

"We delivered strong underlying sales and earnings growth in 2019, driven by the strength of our pharmaceutical business, accelerating performance in our medical devices business and improved profitability in our consumer business," J&J Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said in a press release.

Here's what the company reported compared with Wall Street estimates, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.88 versus $1.87 expected
  • Revenue: $20.74 billion versus $20.8 billion expected

J&J's pharmaceutical business posted revenue of $10.54 billion, a 3.5% increase year over year. The company's consumer unit, which makes beauty products such as Neutrogena, generated $3.5 billion in revenue, up 0.9% from a year earlier. J&J's medical device unit reported revenue of $6.63 billion, down half a percent from last year.

J&J, the maker of popular consumer product brands like Tylenol and Aveeno, is facing numerous lawsuits ranging from claims that its talc-based baby powder causes cancer to allegations that it helped fuel that nationwide opioid epidemic.

Its litigation expenses dramatically fell to $264 million in the quarter, compared with a massive $1.29 billion a year earlier.

Despite the litigation, J&J share prices have increased by more than 2% this year. The S&P 500 has climbed by nearly 3%.

Sales of J&J's rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade increased 5.4% in the fourth quarter to $3.5 billion, while sales of its multiple myeloma drug Darzalex increased by 9.1% to $2.7 billion. Sales of cancer drug Imbruvica increased by 42.1% to $830 million. Stelara grew 6.6% to $515 million.

The company sees 2020 earnings of between $8.95 per share and $9.10 a share, with revenue in the range of $85.4 billion to $86.2 billion.