Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) stock trades firm despite selling pressure

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) stock rose 4.48% on April 14th, 2020 and continued its bullish momentum on April 15th, 2020 (as of 1:45 pm GMT-4 ; Source: Google finance) after the company raised its dividend from 95 cents a share to $1.01, which reflects a 6.3% increase. The company has even cut its full-year 2020 earnings guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak. The company’s medical-device unit declined by 8.2% to $5.9 billion during the first quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic forced hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and Americans stayed home. The company now forecasts a 65% to 80% decline in elective procedures during the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the company had earlier said that the human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus will commence by September in the U.S. and Europe with clinical data on safety and immunogenicity anticipated to be available by the end of the year, and is projected to be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021. J&J has already committed more than $1 billion of investment in partnership with the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research. JNJ anticipates to produce between 600 million and 900 million doses of the potential vaccine by the end of the first quarter of 2021 if human testing goes as planned. J&J is one of several drugmakers, that includes Moderna, Inovio, Pfizer and Sanofi, which are advancing COVID-19 candidates.

JNJ in the first quarter of FY 20 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $2.30, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of $2.00, according to  Refinitiv analysts. The company had reported the adjusted revenue growth of 3.3 percent to $20.7 billion in the first quarter of FY 20, beating the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $19.47 billion. The adjusted operational sales growth is 5.6% worldwide, 6.7% in the U.S. and 4.5% outside the U.S. Worldwide Consumer Health sales were of total $3.6 billion, that grew 11.3% with operational growth in the U.S. of 21% and growth outside the U.S. of 3.9%.  Worldwide Pharmaceutical sales of $11.1 billion grew 10.1% on the back of double-digit growth in nine key products.

The company has lowered its 2020 adjusted earnings forecast to be in a range of $7.50 to $7.90 per share, from its prior expectation of the range $8.95 to $9.10 as the Covid-19 outbreak hit the company’s performance.

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