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Johnson & Johnson Q4 Results Top Estimates

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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Tuesday reported a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss last year. The year-ago quarter's results included the impact of a hefty charge related to the U.S. tax reform. Quarterly sales increased 1.0% from the prior year. Both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly sales topped analysts' expectations.

In the pre-market trade, JNJ is trading at $132.23, up $1.54 or 1.18 percent.

The company expects adjusted earnings for full-year 2019 to be in the range of $8.50 to $8.65 per share reflecting expected operational growth in the range of 5.7% to 7.6%. Analysts expect annual earnings of $8.61 per share.

The company announced its 2019 full-year guidance for sales of $80.4 billion to $81.2 billion reflecting expected operational growth in the range of 0.0% to 1.0% and expected adjusted operational growth in the range of 2.0% to 3.0%. Analysts expect revenues of $82.68 billion for 2019.

"Looking ahead, the strength of our broad-based business and disciplined approach to portfolio management positions us to continue to fuel investments in innovation that enable us to capitalize on strategic opportunities and deliver strong performance over the long-term," said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $3.04 billion or $1.12 per share, compared to a loss of $10.71 billion or $3.99 per share last year.

Fourth-quarter 2018 net earnings included after-tax intangible amortization expense of approximately $1.0 billion and a net charge for after-tax special items of approximately $1.4 billion.

Fourth-quarter 2017 net earnings included after-tax intangible amortization expense of approximately $0.9 billion and a net charge for after-tax special items of approximately $14.6 billion. Included in these special items was the provisional amount of approximately $13.6 billion associated with the enactment of tax legislation.

Excluding after-tax intangible amortization expense and special items, adjusted net earnings for the quarter were $5.37 billion or $1.97 per share, compared to $4.78 billion or $1.74 per share in the prior year.

On an operational basis, adjusted earnings per share increased 16.1% to $2.02 from $1.74 last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.95 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Quarterly sales were $20.39 billion, an increase of 1.0% from $20.20 billion last year. Operational sales results increased 3.3% and the negative impact of currency was 2.3%. Analysts expected revenues of $20.17 billion for the quarter.

Domestic sales increased 1.5%. International sales increased 0.4%, reflecting operational growth of 5.1% and a negative currency impact of 4.7%. Excluding the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures, on an operational basis, worldwide sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 increased 5.3%, domestic sales increased 2.6% and international sales increased 8.3%.

Worldwide Consumer sales of $13.9 billion for the full-year 2018 represented an increase of 1.8% versus the prior year, consisting of an operational increase of 2.2% and a negative impact from currency of 0.4%.

Worldwide Pharmaceutical sales of $40.7 billion for the full-year 2018 represented an increase of 12.4% versus the prior year with an operational increase of 11.8% and a positive impact from currency of 0.6%.

Additionally, the company entered into a worldwide collaboration and license agreement with argenx BVBA and argenx SE to develop and commercialize cusatuzumab (ARGX-110), an investigational therapeutic antibody that targets CD70, an immune checkpoint implicated in numerous cancers, including hematological malignancies.

In December, the company announced a share repurchase program of up to $5.0 billion of the Company's common stock.

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