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J&J beats earnings estimates in Q4, driven by a 16% jump in sales of Remicade

Shares of Johnson & Johnson JNJ, +1.49% were up 0.5% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the company had higher-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter, despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on companies that sell medical products. J&J had earnings of $1.7 billion, or 65 cents per share, in the fourth of quarter of 2020, compared with $4.0 billion, or $1.50 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. It had adjusted earnings per share of $1.86, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.82. The company had sales of $22.4 billion in the final quarter of 2020, up from $20.7 billion in the same quarter in 2019. The FactSet consensus was $21.6 billion. This is due to higher sales in J&J’s consumer health business (a 1.4% increase in sales to $3.6 billion, partially due to better-than-expected Tylenol sales) and its pharmaceutical business (which had a 16.3% boost in sales to $12.2 billion) in the fourth quarter. Several drugs in J&J’s pharma businesses reported sales growth, but one standout was the 6% increase in sales of rheumatoid arthritis therapy Remicade to $4.0 billion for the quarter. (Remicade is being tested as a possible COVID-19 treatment in clinical trials, and Tylenol has been recommended for COVID-19 patients trying to reduce fevers.) Sales in the company’s medical device business fell 0.7% to $6.6 billion, as fewer people underwent orthopedic and other medical procedures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. J&J is expected to share interim results from the Phase 3 clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate this month. Looking forward, it expects sales of $90.5 billion to $91.7 billion in 2021 and adjusted earnings per share of $9.40 to $9.60 this year. J&J’s stock has rallied 11.9% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.36% is up 17.0%.

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