Johnson & Johnson Shares Up on Back of Strong Pharma Sales

Johnson & Johnson is the largest manufacturer of healthcare products in the world and it looks they are not going to falter from that top spot any time soon. The company has reported third-quarter revenue and profit above Wall Street estimates. Specifically, Johnson & Johnson said worldwide sales in the third quarter grew by 4.2 percent, now at $17.8 billion. Accordingly, the company reported a profit of $4.27 billion (or $1.53 per share), which is up from $3.36 billion (or $1.20 per share).

As such, then, Johnson & Johnson has also raised its lower end, full-year 2016 profit forecast from $6.63 per share to $6.68 per share; though they have retained the upper end profit forecast, which sits at $6.73 per share.

Fueled by impressive prescription drug business sales numbers, Johnson & Johnson is the first major US drugmaker to report their quarterly results. These results show that the company’s pharmaceutical drug sales umped 9.2 percent to reach $8.40 billion, anchored largely by higher demand for cancer medicines—like Imbruvica and Darzalex—and its blood thinner Xarelto.

The company also expresses great confidence that filling ten new pharmaceutical products by 2019. Furthermore, each of these ten products have a revenue portential over $1 billion, explains Chief Executive Alex Gorsky.

Sales of the company’s biggest product—an autoimmune drug called Remicade—increased by more than ten percent, to $1.78 billion. However, Johnson & Johnson expects to face new competition for this drug in the US. Indeed, Pfizer said, Monday, they plan to begin shipping its own biosimialr version of Remicade sometime next month, and at a 15 percent discount over current wholesale prices.

The Pfizer drug is called Inflectra and is already available in Europe and other overseas markets. It was approved by US health regulators during the first half of the year but, as you might expect, a protracted patent battle has set back the launch.

By closing bell, on Monday, Johnson & Johnson shares had improved 15 percent over the start of the years, which is quite impressive when compared to the overall 3.7 decline in the whole of the S&P 500 healthcare sector.