Income · Stocks to Consider and Updates

Johnson & Johnson Beats Earnings on Weak Sales; Ups Guidance and Share Buybacks

JNJThe world’s largest maker of healthcare products, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ – $95.45), reported adjusted share earnings of $1.49, versus last year’s $1.61 and four cents above consensus estimates. Once again, the strong U.S. dollar was a major drag on the top line. In the third period, JNJ’s sales were disappointing at $17.1 billion, 7.4% less than 2014’s number and compared to the $17.45 billion anticipated by the Street. Management reported that operational sales increased 0.8% and the negative impact from unfavorable currency translations was 8.2%. Domestic sales decreased 0.6%, while international sales declined 13.7%, reflecting operational growth of 2.1% and a negative currency impact of 15.8%. On a segment-by-segment basis, worldwide Consumer sales of $3.5 billion represented a decrease of 7.7% from the prior year, consisting of an operational increase of 3.1% and a negative currency impact of 10.8%. Global Pharmaceutical sales of $7.7 billion represented a drop of 7.4% compared to the previous year with an operation decrease of 0.3% and a negative currency impact of 7.1%. Finally, worldwide Medical Devices revenues came in at $6.1 billion, a drop of 7.3% from the same period in 2014. The operational increase was 0.9% and the negative currency impact was 8.2%. Management marginally increased the low-end of its share-net earnings guidance for the full-year from $6.10-$6.20 to $6.15-$6.20. Along with the earnings results, J&J’s Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to $10 billion, or roughly 3.6%, of the company’s outstanding stock. I continue to view Johnson & Johnson as uniquely situated with unparalleled depth and breadth in growing global health care markets with solid positions in drugs, medical devices and consumer products. Positions as a core holding in most income accounts should stay in tact as the stock offers a dividend yield of 3.1% and decent price appreciation potential to late decade, especially when viewed on a risk-adjusted basis.



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