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Johnson & Johnson beats profit estimates but cuts forecast on coronavirus uncertainty

FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) on Tuesday beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit on higher sales of its cancer drugs and consumer products including Tylenol, while slashing its full-year forecast due to the coronavirus shutdowns.

Shares of the company, which raised its dividend by 6.3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $1.01 per share, rose 3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $144 in trading before the bell.

The company now expects 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $7.50 to $7.90, compared with its prior estimate of $8.95 to $9.10.

Johnson & Johnson is the first major U.S. drugmaker to report earnings since the coronavirus outbreak forced hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and some patients to cancel appointments, hitting demand for medical devices.

Sales in its medical device unit fell 8.2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $5.93 billion in the quarter.

However, sales in its consumer health unit jumped 9.2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $3.63 billion, mainly driven by a surge in demand for products such as Tylenol and Motrin as locked-down customers stocked up on basic medications.

Sales in J&J’s pharmaceutical unit rose 8.7{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $11.13 billion, helped by sales of cancer drugs Darzalex and Imbruvica.

Net earnings rose to $5.80 billion, or $2.17 per share, in the first quarter, from $3.75 billion, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the maker of Band-Aid and Listerine mouth wash earned $2.30 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $2, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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