Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices Boost J&J in Q4
Growth in prescription drug and medical device sales pushed Johnson & Johnson past fourth-quarter profit expectations, and the healthcare giant’s COVID-19 vaccine also gained momentum.
J&J’s single-shot vaccine saw sales of $1.62 billion in the last quarter of 2021, more than double what it had before the quarter, as pharmacies and clinics started to distribute booster shots.
The vaccine debuted last year and grossed $2.38 billion, slightly less than business leaders said they expected. J&J said Tuesday it expects vaccine sales of $3 billion to $3.5 billion this year as well, as countries continue to battle coronavirus variants.
Much of J&J’s vaccine sales came from outside the United States, where regulators said last month that most Americans should get vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna instead of J&J’s version due a rare vaccine-related blood clotting problem.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. That compares to about 194 million people who used the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which require two doses.
J&J said it had no intention of profiting from the vaccine.
Along with growth in vaccine sales, Johnson & Johnson also saw sales of its Darzalex blood cancer treatment jump 31% to around $1.65 billion.
Total sales for the company’s largest business, pharmaceuticals, jumped more than 16% to $14.29 billion in the quarter. Medical device sales also rose 4% to approximately $6.9 billion, although the segment was still impacted by the ongoing pandemic, which has forced patients and hospitals to postpone surgeries and other care. .
Johnson & Johnson announced in November that it would focus on those two segments by splitting its consumer health business, which sells wound dressings and beauty products, into a separate, publicly traded company.
J&J said it expects this separation to take place within the next two years.
This segment generated $3.66 billion in sales during the quarter.
Overall, the world’s biggest maker of healthcare products earned $4.74 billion in the fourth quarter, while sales rose 10% to $24.8 billion.
Research and development spending also jumped 17% to $4.7 billion in the quarter.
Adjusted earnings totaled $2.13 per share, a penny better than expected. Wall Street had forecast revenue of $25.28 billion, according to FactSet.
In the full year, Johnson & Johnson earned $20.88 billion – a 42% increase from 2020 – as the company had more than a dozen prescription drugs topping $1 billion in sales .
J&J also launched a strong forecast for 2022 earnings per share between $10.40 and $10.60. That’s better than the $10.35 that Wall Street had projected.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which is part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, climbed 1.7% to $165.70 late Tuesday morning. The Dow and other broader indices fell 1% or more.
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