23/06/2024 10:17 PM


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J&J raises dividend but cuts 2020 earnings outlook over coronavirus outbreak; shares rise

Johnson & Johnson shares rose by more than 3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in premarket trading Tuesday after the U.S. drugmaker raised its quarterly dividend — even as it cut full-year earnings guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak.

J&J raised its dividend from 95 cents a share to $1.01, a 6.3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} increase, and it beat Wall Street’s earnings and revenue expectations. On an adjusted basis, J&J  reported $2.30 per share during the first three months of the year, higher than the $2 a share expected by Refinitiv analysts. It generated $20.7 billion in revenue, higher than the $19.47 billion expected.

“The dividend this morning is a real good sign of the strength of the company. We’re in great financial position,” Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” shortly after the earnings were released. “We think this could lend itself to some opportunity for us.”

The company lowered its 2020 adjusted earnings forecast to between $7.50 and $7.90 earnings per share, from its prior estimate of between $8.95 and $9.10 a share as the Covid-19 outbreak took a bite out of the company’s performance.

Sales in J&J’s medical device unit fell by 8.2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $5.9 billion during the quarter as the Covid-19 outbreak forced hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and Americans stayed homebound.

Wolk said the company was forecasting a 65{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to 80{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} decline in elective procedures during the second quarter. 

“What we saw in the first week was closer to that 65{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} range,” he said. 

Wolk said he believes the market is “confident” in the company, adding “we will get through the pandemic as a society.” Shares of J&J are up roughly 2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} over the last 12 months but down about 4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} year to date.

J&J’s pharmaceutical business generated revenue of $11.13 billion, an 8.7{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} year-over-year increase. The company’s consumer unit, which makes beauty products such as Neutrogena, generated $3.6 billion in revenue, up 9.2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} from a year earlier.

J&J is the first U.S. drugmaker to report earnings post-Covid-19 outbreak, which has infected 1.9 million people worldwide and killed at least 120,449 as of Tuesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Late last month, the company said human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus will begin by September and it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.

J&J also committed more than $1 billion of investment in partnership with the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research.

Read all of CNBC’s coronavirus coverage here.

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