Strong Dollar Remains Headache For Johnson & Johnson


The continued climb of the U.S. dollar weighed heavily on pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson’s first quarter earnings reported Tuesday morning. It was in many ways a repeat of a quarter earlier — only this time the numbers were worse with currency woes cutting further into international sales, profitability and now the company’s outlook on the coming three quarters.

The New Brunswick, NJ based company reported $17.4 billion in first quarter revenue, down 4.1% from the same period a year ago. While sales increased 5.9% at home, sales abroad declined 12.4%, reflecting a negative currency impact of 13.2%. One bright point is that revenue was a bit higher than analysts were anticipating, which may be why the stock was up slightly in pre-market trading Tuesday from Monday’s closing price of $100.55.

The stock, however, is still down close to 4% year-to-date.

“The company delivered strong underlying growth in the first quarter driven by new products and the strength of the core business. Of note is the continued robust growth of the Pharmaceutical business and the solid performance of our Consumer brands,” said CEO Alex Gorsky in a statement on the results.

Net income came in at $4.3 billion, or $1.53 per share, down from $4.7 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Excluding special items the company pegs its earnings per share at $1.56, down from $1.63 last year.

Looking ahead the company is not optimistic. J&J now expects full year adjusted earnings to come in between $6.04 and $6.19 due to currency pressures. This is down from a previous forecast of $6.12 to $6.27. Wall Street analysts were calling for $6.16.

Source: Forbes Health