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Oct 17, 2017

Pharma business, acquisition of Actelion drive J&J's profit beat

Johnson & Johnson shampoo

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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by its pharmaceutical business and its recent acquisition of Swiss biotech Actelion and other businesses.

Shares of J&J, part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, were up 1.4 per cent at US$138 in premarket trading.

The company, which makes everything from Band-Aids to blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade, completed the US$30 billion acquisition of Actelion in June, giving it access to high-price, high-margin medicines for rare diseases.

J&J also raised its 2017 profit forecast to a range of US$7.25 to US$7.30 per share from a range of US$7.12 to US$7.22 per share estimated previously.

Sales in the company's pharmaceutical business rose 15.4 per cent to US$9.7 billion in the third quarter, while its total revenue rose 10.3 per cent to US$19.65 billion.

However, the company's net earnings fell to US$3.76 billion, or US$1.37 per share, from US$4.27 billion, or US$1.53 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, J&J earned US$1.90 per share, beating analysts estimates of US$1.80 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.