Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reported third-quarter revenue and profit that beat Wall Street estimates. Net income rose 27 percent to $4.27 billion, or $1.53 a share, from $3.36 billion, or $1.20 a share in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding special items, Johnson & Johnson earned $1.68 per share on revenue of $17.82 billion. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.66 per share and revenue of $17.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Unfavorable currency rates shaved 0.1 percent off the quarter’s total.
Johnson & Johnson raised the lower end of its adjusted profit range to $6.68 per share from $6.63 and retained the upper end at $6.73 per share. The company also backed its revenue forecast of $71.5 billion to $72.2 billion for the year. Johnson & Johnson’s shares were little changed at $118.47 at 8:35 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained about 15 percent since the start of the year up to Monday’s close.
The company’s performance in the third quarter was fueled by strong sales in its prescription drugs business. Pharmaceutical drug sales jumped 9.2 percent to $8.40 billion. Stelara sales were $814 million, higher than analyst estimates of $764 million. Zytiga also beat estimates, by $23 million, with sales of $582 million. Its cancer medicines, Imbruvica and Darzalex, as well as its blood thinner Xarelto also saw strong demand in the quarter.
Sales of Remicade, the company’s autoimmune drug, rose 10.5 percent to $1.78 billion in the quarter, topping the $1.68 billion average of analysts’ predictions. Revenue from Remicade accounted for 21 percent of Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals sales. With annual U.S. sales of about $5 billion, Remicade is the company’s biggest product. However, these results will be difficult to duplicate in the future. The treatment will soon face cheaper copies known as biosimilars, including one from Pfizer Inc. next month.
Johnson & Johnson, currently the world’s largest maker of healthcare products, was the first major U.S. drugmaker to report its quarterly results. Chief Executive Alex Gorsky said results reflect the success of new product launches and the strength of its core businesses. Johnson & Johnson makes a variety of products, including Tylenol, Band-Aid bandages, and Acuvue contact lenses. The company expects to introduce 10 new pharmaceutical products between 2015 and 2019, each with a revenue potential of over $1 billion.