Pharma fuels Johnson & Johnson’s first-quarter earnings beat – CNBC

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Johnson & Johnson topped Wall Street’s first-quarter earnings and revenue expectations, fueled by strong pharmaceutical growth.

The company posted adjusted earnings of $2.06 earnings per share and revenue of $20 billion. The Street had expected $2.02 per share and revenue of $19.46 billion, according to a consensus of analysts polled by Reuters.

Shares of J&J rose about 1 percent in premarket trade.

Here’s how the company did compared with what Wall Street Expected:

– Earnings: $2.06 per share vs. $2.02 per share, according to a consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters
– Revenue: $20 billion vs. $19.46 billion, according to a consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters

In the quarter, J&J’s revenue increased about 13 percent year-over-year. On an operational basis, J&J’s revenue grew 8.4 percent. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and currency, worldwide sales were up 4.3 percent.

In the first quarter, J&J reported net income of $4.4 billion, or $1.60 per share. After stripping out amortization expenses and special items, the company earned $5.6 billion, or $2.06 per share, beating analyst estimates of $2.02 per share.

J&J boosted its full-year sales guidance to between $81 billion and $81.8 billion, up from $80.6 billion and $81.4 billion, reflecting operational growth between 4 percent and 5 percent. The company reiterated its adjusted earnings forecast to between $8 and $8.20 per share, reflecting operational growth between 6.8 percent and 9.6 percent.

“We had a very strong quarter. We carried our momentum from 2017 into 2018, and our pharmaceutical business continued to have stellar results,” J&J Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell.

The company’s pharmaceutical business posted $9.84 billion in revenue, a 15 percent year-over-year operational increase. Sales of blood-cancer treatments Imbruvica and Darzalex surged in the quarter.

Excluding currency, Imbruvica’s revenue grew 35 percent to hit $587 million worldwide, topping Street estimates of $579.7 million, according to StreetAccount. Darzalex revenue rocketed 64 percent, excluding currency, to reach $432 million in worldwide sales, surpassing estimates of $395.7 million.

Blood thinner Xarelto’s sales grew about 13 percent on an operational basis to reach $578 million in global sales, falling short of analysts’ estimates of $633.7 million.

Meanwhile, rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade has been under pressure. Worldwide sales slid 18 percent, excluding a positive currency impact, to $1.34 billion. Analysts had been expecting sales of $1.5 billion, according to StreetAccount.

In February, the Food and Drug Administration approved Erleada, or apalutamide, to treat non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

J&J’s medical device unit grew 3 percent on an operational basis from the same period last year, reaching $6.77 billion. The sprawling health company has been pruning its medical device portfolio. Last month, J&J said it received an about $2.1 billion bid for its LifeScan diabetes business from private-equity firm Platinum Equity.

J&J’s consumer segment generated $3.4 billion in the quarter, up 1.3 percent from the year-ago quarter. The unit has struggled along with other incumbents in the space. J&J is expected to relaunch its baby care business later this year.

In wake of the new tax law, the company plans to invest more than $30 billion in research and development and capital investments in the U.S. over the next four years, an increase of 15 percent.

Caruso said the new law provides more flexibility to use J&J’s capital, including to create new ways to improve health care and manufacture new technologies in the U.S.

“We’re very proud we’re able to do that, especially in the U.S.,” he said.

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