Johnson & Johnson’s Profit Jumps 37%
Healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ – $94.02) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Sales were $18.4 billion in the final period of 2013, an increase of 5% from the year-earlier figure. Each of J&J’s major segments showed improvements: Consumer up 3%, Pharmaceuticals advanced a healthy 12% and Medical Devices & Diagnostics ahead by 4%. The company, whose products span everything from medical devices and prescription drugs to over-the-counter products such as Listerine, Neutrogena and Tylenol, earned an adjusted $3.52 billion, or $1.24 per share, in the fourth quarter and $0.04 above the consensus figure and last year’s $1.19. JNJ was less optimistic about 2014 than “The Street” was hoping for, pegging full year results at $5.75 to $5.85 per share, compared with analysts’ forecasts at the top end of that range and the shares edged lower on the news. Still, this high-quality healthcare giant continues to trade just below its 52-high of $96 and I believe JNJ will continue to deliver solid results to late decade and conservative income types looking for stability and a nice dividend – yielding 2.7% – should continue to do well here.