J&J misses sales estimates as blockbuster drugs disappoint

Litigation costs drop sharply at group embroiled in suits over talcum powder asbestos

Litigation expenses at Johnson & Johnson fell to $264 million in the fourth quarter, from $1.29 billion a year ago. The company is being sued over traces of asbestos in its baby powder talcum. Photograph: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg

Litigation expenses at Johnson & Johnson fell to $264 million in the fourth quarter, from $1.29 billion a year ago. The company is being sued over traces of asbestos in its baby powder talcum. Photograph: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg

 

Johnson & Johnson narrowly missed quarterly revenue estimates on Wednesday as sales of its blockbuster psoriasis medicine Stelara and cancer drug Imbruvica fell short of expectations.

Revenue at J&J’s pharmaceuticals unit, which also makes antidepressant Spravato and plaque psoriasis drug Tremfya, rose 3.5 per cent to $10.55 billion in the fourth quarter, missing the average estimate of $10.63 billion, according to two analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The company said it expects full-year 2020 adjusted earnings per share in the range $8.95 to $9.10.

Litigation expenses fell to $264 million in the fourth quarter, from $1.29 billion a year ago.

J&J’s net earnings rose to $4.01 billion, or $1.50 per share, in the quarter, from $3.04 billion, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $1.88 per share, beating the average analyst estimate by a cent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total sales rose 1.7 per cent to $20.75 billion, also coming in below the average estimate of $20.80 billion. – Reuters