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J&J (JNJ) Stock Gains on Q1 Earnings Beat & Improved View

Johnson & Johnson JNJ’s shares are up in pre-market trading with the company beating earnings expectations yet again. Moreover, the company has raised its outlook for the year.

First-quarter 2016 earnings came in at $1.68 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.64 per share and increasing 7.7% from the year-ago period.

Sales just about edged past expectations coming in at $17.5 billion -- the Zacks Consensus Estimate was $17.4 billion. Sales increased 0.6% from the year-ago quarter, reflecting an operational increase of 3.9% and negative currency impact of 3.3%.

Including one-time items, Johnson & Johnson reported first quarter earnings of $1.54 per share, up 0.7% from the year-ago period.

Pharma Segment Drives Performance

First quarter sales grew 7.2% in the domestic market but were down 6% in international markets, reflecting 0.6% operational growth offset by 6.6% negative currency impact.

Pharmaceutical segment sales grew 5.9% year-over-year to $8.2 billion (negative currency impact of 2.6%). Sales in the domestic market increased 12.9% to $4.9 billion, whereas international sales declined 3.4% to $3.2 billion.

New products like Stelara and Invega Sustenna continued to perform well. Other growth drivers include Invokana/Invokamet, Imbruvica, Xarelto, Darzalex, and Simponi.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment Olysio continued to feel the impact of additional competition with sales declining 86.3% from the year-ago quarter. Invega sales also declined due to generic competition.

The Medical Devices segment posted sales of $6.1 billion, down 2.4% from the year-ago period comprising an operational increase of 0.5% and negative currency movement of 2.9%.

Sales in the domestic market grew 2.2% year-over year to $3 billion; international market sales fell 6.5% year-over-year to $3.1 billion.

The Consumer segment recorded revenues of $3.2 billion in the reported quarter, down 5.8% from the first quarter of 2015. Foreign currency movement negatively impacted sales in the segment by 5.6%. Sales in the domestic market declined 0.1% from the year-ago period to $1.4 billion.

Meanwhile, the international segment recorded a decline of 9.6% with currency having a negative impact of 9.3%. OTC sales increased 13.8% in the U.S. with key products being re-launched. Johnson & Johnson has been working on ensuring reliable and consistent supply of products.

Updates Guidance

J&J now expects 2016 earnings in the range of $6.53 - $6.68 per share on revenues of $71.2 billion - $71.9 billion (adjusted to reflect current foreign currency exchange rates). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings and revenues is $6.52 per share and $71.5 billion, respectively.

At the time of releasing fourth quarter results, the company had guided towards earnings of $6.43 - $6.58 per share on revenues of $70.8 billion - $71.5 billion.

Our Take

Johnson & Johnson has started the year on a strong note with first quarter results surpassing expectations. The Pharmaceutical segment delivered once again despite challenges like negative currency impact and lower HCV revenues.

J&J also raised its outlook for the year. Contribution from new products, share buybacks and the restructuring initiative should help drive results.

Johnson & Johnson is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. Some other equally well-ranked stocks in the pharma sector include Eli Lilly and Company LLY, Novo Nordisk A/S NVO and Sanofi SNY.

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