Johnson & Johnson Beats on Earnings Thanks to Pharma

Johnson & Johnson was able to top revenue and earnings expectations during the first quarter boosted by strong growth in pharmaceuticals.

The company posted $2.06 adjusted earnings per share on revenue that exceeded $20 billion. Wall Street was expecting per share earnings of $2.02 and revenue of just over $19.45 billion.

During the three-month period, J&J enjoyed an increase of 13% in revenue compared to the same period one year ago. As far as operationally, revenue at J&J grew by 8.4%. Excluding impact from currency, divestitures and acquisitions, sales worldwide for the company grew by 4.3%.

During the first three months of 2018, J&J posted $4.4 billion in net income equal to $1.60 a share. After taking out expense for amortization and other special items, J&J earnings were $5.6 billion equal to $2.06 a share, which beat estimates by analysts for $2.02 a share.

J&J increased its sales guidance for the full year from between $80.5 billion and $81.3 billion to $81 billion and $81.7 billion. This change reflected growth in operations of between 4% and 5%.

The company reconfirmed its forecast for adjusted earnings of $8 to $8.20 a share, reflecting growth operationally of between 6.8% and 9.6%.

CFO at J&J Dominic Caruso told analysts that the company enjoyed a strong quarter and carried its momentum into 2018 from the end of 2017 and its pharmaceutical business was continuing with excellent results.

The pharmaceutical business posted revenue of $9.84 billion, an operational increase of 15% over last year. Sales of Darzalex and Imbruvica two blood cancer treatments surged during the quarter.

Excluding currency, revenue from Imbruvica grew by 35% to reach $587 million globally, topping estimates by analysts of $579.6 million.

Revenue for Darzalex rocketed by 64%, excluding currency to end the quarter at $432 million in sales worldwide, surpassing analyst estimates of just over $395.6 million.

Xarelto the blood thinner saw its sales increase by 13% to global sales of $578 million, falling short of estimates by analysts of over $633.6 million.

Meanwhile, Remicade the drug for rheumatoid arthritis has come under heavy pressure. Sales worldwide dropped by 18% excluding an impact of currency to end the quarter at $1.34 billion. Analysts were expecting sales to reach $1.5 billion.

In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its approval to apalutamide or Erleada, as a treatment for non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.