Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated
"Our second-quarter results showcase Johnson & Johnson's diversified portfolio, driven by strong sales and earnings growth across our medical device, consumer health and pharmaceutical businesses," commented CEO Alex Gorsky. The company cited Stelara, Darzalex, Tremfya, Erleada, Imbruvica and Invega Sustenna/Xeplion/Invega Trinza/Trevicta as being main drivers for the quarter in terms of prescription drug sales, offset partially by biosimilar and generic competition, especially for Remicade. Johnson & Johnson also noted that sales for the period had a 4.1% benefit from favourable currency exchange rates.
Johnson & Johnson now expects sales this year of between $93.8 billion and $94.6 billion, lifted from an earlier estimate of $90.6 billion to $91.6 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 13.5% to 14.5%. Meanwhile, earnings per share are forecast to be between $9.60 and $9.70, boosted from a previous prediction of $9.42 to $9.57.
The revised guidance includes revenue from its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S, which the company anticipates will generate sales of $2.5 billion this year, even as it weathers concerns about some very rare side effects and questionable efficacy against the Delta variant, as well as production problems at a Baltimore plant. According to chief financial officer Joseph Wolk, Johnson & Johnson expects to produce 500 million to 600 million doses of the vaccine this year.
Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans remarked that "the company's earnings growth has accelerated, driven by newly launched drugs and a decreasing impact from patent losses," but the current price "does not fully reflect [its] new products." She suggested some legal settlements on the horizon, including the one to resolve US opioid suits, could clear up some uncertainty facing Johnson & Johnson's stock.
Regarding the $2.5-billion sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine, Mizuho Securities analyst Vamil Divan said that that projection "bodes well for Pfizer's (shot) and COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and AstraZeneca." Pfizer and Moderna have previously forecast $26 billion and $19.2 billion in 2021 sales of their coronavirus vaccines, respectively.
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