J&J tops 4Q earnings forecasts but misses on revenue

Johnson & Johnson edged past Wall Street’s fourth quarter earnings expectations, helped by growing pharmaceutical sales, but revenue fell short.

The world’s biggest maker of health care products also debuted a strong 2022 forecast of per-share earnings between $10.40 and $10.60. That’s better than the $10.35 Wall Street had been projecting, according to FactSet.

The company also said it expects between $3 billion and $3.5 billion in sales from its COVID-19 vaccine this year, after pulling in $2.38 billion in 2021.

In the fourth quarter, New Brunswick, N.J., company earned $4.74 billion, while sales grew 10% to $24.8 billion.

Adjusted earnings totaled $2.13 per share, or a penny better than expected. Wall Street had expected revenue of $25.28 billion.

Total sales from the company’s largest business, pharmaceuticals, jumped more than 16% to $14.29 billion, helped by the blood cancer treatment Darzalex.

J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine brought in $1.62 billion in sales in the quarter, or more than double what it recorded in the first three quarters of 2021.

Sales of the company’s one-shot vaccine started slow last year, with its rollout hurt by manufacturing complications and concern about rare side effects, including a blood clot disorder.

In October, U.S. regulators approved a booster dose of the shot at least two months after the initial dose, and European Union leaders later did the same.

The vaccine was initially welcomed as an option that could be especially important for hard-to-reach groups, such as the homeless, who might not get the needed second dose of options from Pfizer or Moderna.

But last month, U.S. health officials said most Americans should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of J&J’s version due to the rare clotting problem.

Shares of J&J, which is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, slipped before the opening bell today amid a broad retreat in U.S. markets.