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Johnson & Johnson posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter early Tuesday and offered guidance that topped consensus estimates, but the stock moved lower in premarket trade.

The company
which spun off its consumer-health operations into the separately listed Kenvue
last year and is now more focused on innovative medicines and medical technology, posted net earnings of $4.132 billion, or $1.70 a share, for the fourth quarter, up from $3.227 billion, or $1.22 a share, in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.29, just ahead of the $2.28 FactSet consensus.

Sales rose to $21.395 billion from $19.939 billion a year ago, also ahead of the $21.022 billion FactSet consensus.

By segment, sales at the company’s innovative medicine business, including COVID-19 vaccines, rose 4.8% to $13.722 billion, while sales at the medtech segment rose 13.3% to $7.673 billion.

Growth in innovative medicine was driven by cancer drugs Darzalex and Carvykti as well as psoriasis treatment Stelara, which was one of the 10 drugs selected in late August for the first round of Medicare drug-price negotiations under the Inflation Reduction Act.

That was partially offset by weakness in cancer drugs Zytiga and Imbruvica and immunology treatment Remicade.

In the medtech segment, growth was driven by electrophysiology products in interventional solutions, contact lenses in vision, wound closure products in general surgery, and biosurgery in advanced surgery. The acquisition of Abiomed in 2022 contributed 4.7% of that segment’s growth.

Abiomed makes medical technology that supports circulation and oxygenation and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in a deal valued at $16.6 billion. 

J&J said it’s now expecting 2024 adjusted EPS of $10.55 to $10.75 and sales of $87.8 billion to $88.6 billion. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $10.68 and sales of $87.9 billion.

The stock dipped 0.4% premarket, but has gained 3.8% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500
has gained 20.7%.

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