J&J, after surprisingly strong 2Q, ups outlook for the year

Business

Johnson & Johnson had a surprisingly strong second quarter and bumped up its 2020 forecast even after COVID-19 contributed to a 40% chop to revenue from medical device sales.

Growing U.S. pharmaceutical sales helped the world’s biggest health products maker counter damage from the pandemic, which forced patients to delay surgeries.

J&J on Thursday said it expects 2020 earnings of $7.75 to $7.95 per share, and sales of between $81 billion and $82.5 billion. That comes a few months after the company surprised investors by cutting its profit forecast for the year by about 15% and slashing its sales forecast because of the pandemic.

The new forecast tops Wall Street expectations on the top end. Analyst surveyed by FactSet are projecting per-share earnings of $7.75 per share, and $79.77 billion in revenue.

J&J’s quarterly net income fell 35% to $3.63 billion, while adjusted earnings totaled $1.67 per share. Total revenue also fell 11% to $18.34 billion.

Industry analysts had expected J&J to take a bigger hit from the pandemic, having projected per-share earnings of $1.49, and $17.61 billion in revenue.

Shares of New Brunswick, New Jersey, based J&J started climbing Thursday in premarket trading.

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