|Bid||127.71 x 1100|
|Ask||127.95 x 800|
|Day's range||127.70 - 134.39|
|52-week range||121.00 - 148.99|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||0.73|
|PE ratio (TTM)||21.21|
|Earnings date||15 Oct 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||3.80 (2.81%)|
|1y target est||150.19|
In this week’s Q3 earnings call, Johnson & Johnson's CFO shed some light on the company’s surprise decision to settle in Ohio.
(Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson is recalling one lot of its Johnson’s Baby Powder after tiny amounts of asbestos contamination were found in samples from a single bottle purchased online.J&J is voluntarily recalling the lot, 22318RB, which consists of 33,000 bottles, and is encouraging people who bought the product to discontinue use. The company said that it is working with the Food and Drug Administration, which tested the bottle, and has started an investigation into how and when the product was contaminated.FDA spokeswoman Gloria Sanchez-Contreras said the contaminated bottle contained chrysotile fibers, a type of asbestos. The FDA recommended that consumers stop using the lot immediately and contact J&J for a refund. Another lot of Johnson’s Baby Powder the FDA tested was negative for asbestos, the agency said in a statement.J&J shares fell 6.2% to $127.70 at the close in New York, the biggest drop since December 2018. The stock has been under pressure as investors try to ascertain the company’s potential liabilities in a series of lawsuits related to talc and other products.“Thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos,” J&J said in a statement on Friday.J&J is looking into whether cross-contamination of the sample caused a false positive, whether the product was appropriately sealed and maintained in a controlled environment, and whether the product was a counterfeit. Sanchez-Contreras said the FDA “stands by the quality of its testing and results and is not aware of any adverse events relating to exposure to the lot of affected products.” The FDA has tested about 50 cosmetic products for asbestos since 2018 and plans to release the full results by the end of this year, the agency said.During a brief call with investors on Friday, J&J global supply chain and women’s health executives said they had received the product’s test results the previous day and acted promptly to inform the public. The investigation could take 30 days or more, they said. The executives didn’t take questions from participants on the call.Legal ImplicationsChief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said on a Tuesday conference call with investors that the company wouldn’t set aside any legal reserves for the more than 100,000 lawsuits it faces across its portfolio of drugs, consumer products and medical devices, saying it expects to fight and win many of the claims.“The management team here will look at what a reasonable outcome could be for all stakeholders involved,” Wolk said. “When products are safe, when they’re effective, we’re going to look to make sure that those products aren’t subject to what’s become unfortunately a big business model for plaintiff’s attorneys.”J&J has already settled some of the lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim they were given cancer by the talc-based personal care products, but 15,500 suits remain, according to a July filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Company spokesman Ernie Knewitz declined to comment on the contamination beyond the news release and said he wouldn’t speculate on what the development means for the litigation.Baby Powder-related liabilities could eventually cost the company as much as $10 billion, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Though the product accounts for only a small fraction of J&J’s annual revenue, it’s been a core brand for the company for more than a century.Longstanding ClaimsLawyers for women who blame their cancers on asbestos-tainted talc powder contend internal J&J documents indicated officials knew since the 1970s that powder mined in places such as Vermont and Italy contained trace amounts of asbestos, but failed to alert consumers or regulators. Asbestos is often found intertwined with talc.“Had J&J acted responsibly and removed Johnson’s Baby Powder from the market in the 1970s, they would have saved the lives of thousands of women who have died needlessly of ovarian cancer,” Leigh O’Dell, an Alabama lawyer who is leading the plaintiffs’ cases that have been consolidated before a federal judge in New Jersey for pretrial information exchanges, said on Friday.Mark Lanier, who persuaded a St. Louis jury last year to hit J&J with a $4.7 billion verdict on behalf of more than 20 women who said they developed ovarian cancer through long-term use of the company’s talc-based products, said he doesn’t expect this to be the last time that its talc will be found to contain asbestos.“This confirms thousands of tests” over the years that have uncovered asbestos in J&J’s Baby Powder, he said.Given that J&J’s lawyers made public statements this month that the company’s talc-based products were free of asbestos, the recall couldn’t come at worse time, said Nora Engstrom, a Stanford University law professor. The company has vowed for years that extensive testing showed no traces of asbestos, she noted.“The wisdom of J&J’s broad defense strategy for these talc cases clearly is now in doubt,” Engstrom said.J&J has refuted and, in many cases, appealed verdicts against it, citing conflicting evidence on whether talcum powder can cause cancer. In a statement provided to Time magazine after a new study’s publication, the company maintained that Baby Powder is safe.“We sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, and we understand patients and their families are seeking answers. The facts are clear — Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos nor does it cause cancer, as reflected in more than 40 years of scientific evidence,” the statement reads.J&J said in February that it had received subpoenas and inquiries related to its iconic baby-powder products from the U.S. Justice Department, the SEC and the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Knewitz, the J&J spokesman, said at the time the company would cooperate with the inquiries.Bloomberg News reported in July that the Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether J&J lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talc powder.(Updates with FDA testing in third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Riley Griffin in New York at email@example.com;Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at email@example.com, Timothy Annett, Mark SchoifetFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com – Stocks finished the week on a down note on slumps in Boeing and Johnson & Johnson, plus new worries about Chinese economic growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index lost close to 260 points or 0.95% today. Boeing stock (BA) fell 6.73%, the biggest loss in the Dow today.
Company said 33,000 bottles will be recalled amid lawsuits alleging they knew the baby powder was contaminated. Johnson & Johnson has voluntarily recalled a single batch of its baby powder after US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in the product. The company said 33,000 bottles of talcum powder will be recalled “out of an abundance of caution”. The recall comes amid thousands of lawsuits alleging the company knew its baby powder was contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson strenuously denied the claims. This is the first time the company has recalled its leading baby powder product. The same day, the Arizona attorney general announced a $116m settlement against the company, related to its transvaginal mesh implants. The company is also being sued over its role in the US opioids crisis, in a challenging period for its reputation as one of the most trusted brands in the world. Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that tests conducted by the FDA found sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination at concentrations not exceeding 0.00002% in a single bottle purchased from an online retailer. The recall applies to lot #22318RB. The company said it could not confirm whether the sample was cross-contaminated, whether the product’s seal was intact, or whether the sample was taken from an authentic bottle of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. The company said it has conducted “thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly to confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos”. Although pediatricians have advised against using talcum powder on infants for decades, arguing there is a risk of inhalation and infection to babies, talcum powder has remained Johnson & Johnson’s best-known household staple. The product is made from pure talc, a mineral which often appears in veins alongside asbestos in the earth. “Our talc comes from ore sources confirmed to meet our stringent specifications that exceed industry standards,” the company said. “Not only do we and our suppliers routinely test to ensure our talc does not contain asbestos, our talc has also been tested and confirmed to be asbestos-free by a range of independent laboratories, universities and global health authorities.” Concerns have also been raised about the health impacts of talc itself. For decades, talc was routinely used as a dry lubricant in condoms and latex gloves, until physicians raised health concerns about talc, particularly for women. In a series of investigations by the New York Times and Reuters, internal documents from Johnson & Johnson revealed some company executives worried about the talcum products, including possible asbestos contamination, further government regulation and public backlash over health concerns.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Johnson & Johnson, Boeing, Pfizer, Qualcomm and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Here we discuss three medical product stocks that are due to report soon and are likely to beat estimates on earnings, riding on a host of factors.
FDA approves Lilly's (LLY) lasmiditan oral tablets to treat acute migraine. J&J (JNJ) beats earnings and sales estimates in Q3
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Imagine you’re the chief executive officer of a large pharmaceutical corporation with an important drug that’s under attack. More than 2,500 lawsuits have been filed against your company. The plaintiffs aren’t individuals, though, they’re governments — counties, cities and states. And some of the biggest names in the plaintiffs’ bar have agreed to represent these entities, lawyers like Joe Rice, whose firm was said to have earned $1 billion for helping to bring the tobacco companies to heel in the 1990s.You know you’ve got some incriminating-sounding documents in your corporate files — what company doesn’t? — but you also know that the Food and Drug Administration approved your drug. Patients crushed it and snorted it — something that was never intended. And you’re convinced that the plaintiffs are pushing the envelope with the public nuisance laws they are relying on to bring these cases. Yes, your company will probably lose at trial, but you think you have a good chance to win on appeal.Then you look at the army arrayed against you, and it hits you: You’re never going to be able to litigate your way out of this. It’s not just that there are 2,500 lawsuits or that they are being brought by governments. It is what that represents. Government exists to serve the interests of the people, and the people are saying that your company participated in something that inflicted tremendous damage on the country. Hundreds of thousands of people have died. And your company needs to be punished.At this point, you pick up the phone, call your opponents and say, “How much do we need to pay to settle this?”I am obviously not privy to the thinking of the CEOs of the various companies facing opioid lawsuits. But given the news of the last few days, I imagine that their thought process was not too far from what I just described. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that three of the distributors being sued — McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Corp. — have offered to pay $18 billion over 18 years to settle their cases. This news leaked less than a week before the start of a big opioid trial in Cleveland, in which the three companies are among the defendants.The next day, Bloomberg News reported that Johnson & Johnson was offering $4 billion to end the litigation, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc. was proposing to give away $15 billion worth of generic drugs to be freed of the lawsuits. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the five companies and the states had agreed on the outlines of a settlement that would cost the companies $50 billion.And of course, Purdue Pharma Inc. had already waved the white flag, with a bankruptcy filing last month intended to end the lawsuits by essentially turning the company’s assets over to a trust that would be controlled by the plaintiffs.It is too early to know whether any of these settlement offers will stick. Although the federal judge presiding over the Cleveland trial, Dan Aaron Polster, has asked the CEOs of the three distributors plus Teva to appear Friday to discuss the settlement talks, I’m told that the trial is still likely to begin on Monday, as scheduled.Any settlement will also need approval from the cities and counties that have filed suits. They are deeply suspicious of any deal the states might cut because they remember the outcome of the tobacco litigation. In 1998, the tobacco companies agreed to pay $246 billion over 25 years to the states, but little of that money trickled down to cities and counties. Indeed, a minuscule amount went to anti-tobacco efforts; most of the money is now used to fill state budget gaps.Still, whether it happens next week or next year, the opioid litigation will almost surely end with the companies being sued spending billions to settle it. The stock market practically demands it: Share prices of all the companies that have made settlement offers in recent days have jumped. And continuing litigation drains and distracts a company.Here’s the problem, though. Whenever plaintiffs’ lawyers argue that companies have done bad things and need to pay up, they justify the demand for money by saying it will be used to solve the problem. But will it? In this case, I have my doubts.In an opioid case in Oklahoma a few months ago, a judge ruled that Johnson & Johnson should pay $572 million (later reduced by $107 million), which he calculated would cover opioid abatement services in Oklahoma for just one year. So point one: Ending the crisis will require more money than even Big Pharma can provide.Second, just throwing money at the problem is not going to solve it. States and cities will most likely take different approaches. Some will be better than others. But there is no clear plan coming from the federal government — or anywhere else — about what steps are needed to end the crisis. Until there is, more money is likely to be wasted than not.Third, chances are good that the settlement money will be used for things that have nothing to do with opioids. Again, tobacco in instructive: Settlement money was supposed to be earmarked for tobacco control programs, but in most states the politicians couldn’t resist grabbing it for other purposes.Earlier this summer, during a court hearing, Judge Polster said that “developing solutions to combat a social crisis such as the opioid epidemic should not be the task of our judicial branch.” It was the job, he said, of the executive and legislative branches.He’s right. But that’s just not the American way. In the U.S., when there is a problem with a product, our first instinct is to sue the corporation that made it. When the litigation is settled, money is transferred from shareholders to plaintiffs (and their lawyers). It may be a satisfying resolution, but it rarely solves the problem. To reference tobacco one more time, two decades after the tobacco settlement, 480,000 Americans still die from smoking each year.I suspect the same will be true of the opioid crisis. The companies will settle, the lawyers will pocket millions and the states will get the rest. And the crisis will continue.I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt say it again: There’s got to be a better way.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
J&J shares fell more than 6% to close at $127.70. The move marks the first time the company has recalled its iconic baby powder for possible asbestos contamination, and the first time U.S. regulators have announced a finding of asbestos in the product. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that has been linked to deadly mesothelioma.
The world's first Ebola vaccine was recommended for approval by European drugs regulators on Friday in a move hailed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a "triumph for public health" that would save many lives. The vaccine, developed by U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co, is already being used under emergency guidelines to try to protect people against the spread of a deadly Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo. It protects against the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus - the one that most commonly causes outbreaks.
The treatment, Spravato, which is the chemical mirror image of the often-abused anesthetic ketamine, won U.S. approval in March, making it the first new type of drug for depression in more than 30 years. J&J has said that over 2,000 centres in the U.S. have been certified to administer Spravato, which has been touted as an asset with blockbuster potential.
The settlement resolves a multistate investigation that found J&J violated consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of its devices and failing to sufficiently disclose risks associated with their use, the attorneys general said. Thousands of women have sued the company and its Ethicon unit alleging that they were injured by its pelvic mesh devices, which are used to treat bladder issues and pelvic organ prolapse, in which organs shift from their normal positions. The deal does not cover lawsuits over J&J's mesh marketing by four states, California, West Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi, which remain pending.
The order by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, Ohio, came as distributors McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Israel-based drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd moved to reach a deal ahead of a trial before Polster that begins on Monday. All of those companies except J&J are set to be defendants in the trial before Polster, who oversees the bulk of the litigation.
Democratic candidates like Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar criticized big pharma companies for their role in the opioid crisis.
(Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson has offered to pay $4 billion to settle all claims accusing the company of helping fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic, as part of a potentially larger deal involving drugmakers and distributors that could top $20 billion.J&J’s overture came on the heels of a proposal by distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. to pay $18 billion to wipe out all opioid suits against those companies, according to people familiar with the proposal. The Wall Street Journal first reported the distributors’ offer Tuesday. The money would be paid out in annual $1 billion increments, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private.J&J and the distributors -- which deliver the majority of prescription medications to U.S. pharmacies -- made the proposal in talks with a group of state attorneys general, the people said. The proposals came on the eve of the first federal trial in Cleveland over responsibility for the public-health crisis tied to opioids.Shares of J&J gained 2.2% at 10:38 a.m. in New York on Wednesday, while McKesson shares rose 7.4%, Cardinal rose 5.7% and AmerisourceBergen gained 6.4%.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., another drug manufacturer targeted in the nationwide litigation, offered to give away more than $15 billion in generic drugs, including those that help fight opioid overdoses, to resolve all of its cases, said the people. That agreement would run over 10 years, the people said.Israel-based Teva’s shares rose 6.3% in New York on news of the settlement proposal. Teva’s bonds were among the top performers in the U.S. high-yield market on Wednesday, according to Trace bond trading data. The company’s 6% unsecured bonds rose more than 1.5 cents on the dollar to around 91.5.Other opioid manufacturers implicated in the federal trial, including Mallinckrodt and Endo, also rose in the wake of the news.If all the proposals are accepted, the Cleveland trial likely will be put off given that the three distributors and Teva are the main defendants, the people said. In the trial, two counties are seeking reimbursement for the hundreds of millions in tax dollars spent on the fallout from opioid addictions and overdoses.“As we’ve stated previously, we remain open to viable options to resolve these cases, including through settlement,” Ernie Knewitz, a J&J spokesman, said in an emailed statement.U.S.-based Teva spokeswoman Kelley Dougherty declined to comment on the proposed deal. AmerisourceBergen spokesman Gabriel Weissman and Brandi Martin, a Cardinal Health spokeswoman, also declined to comment. McKesson spokeswoman Sunny Rodriguez didn’t respond to requests for comment.Samantha Fisher, a spokeswoman for Tennessee Attorney Herbert Slatery III, didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment, sent after regular business hours. Slatery is one of the leaders of the negotiations.It’s the first time J&J has put serious money on the table to end its opioid liability, the people said. The drugmaker agreed earlier this month to pay $20.4 million to two Ohio counties to avoid a federal trial, but that didn’t extend to any other opioid claim. Some analysts have said it may take as much as $150 billion to resolve all the opioid cases on file.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Johnson & Johnson’s settlement of two opioid cases in Ohio, if reflective of a global settlement, is in-line with our expectation that it could pay up to $5 billion. The news, along with its lower-than-expected Oklahoma fine, may indicate J&J won’t have to contribute much more than others based on its ability to pay.\-- Sam Fazeli, senior pharmaceutical analystClick here to view the research“It’s very rare for J&J to do anything else other than litigate these kinds of cases to the bitter end,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who teaches about mass torts. “I think investors are going to be very happy they are talking global settlement.”Tobias said an Oklahoma judge’s decision to hit J&J with $572 million in damages over its sales of opioid painkillers in that state may have sent J&J an unmistakable signal. That judge acknowledged Tuesday that he made a $107 million error in his damages ruling and cut the award to $420 million.“That ruling may have showed them that no matter where they try those cases, they are going to have trouble persuading judges and juries they shouldn’t be on the hook for the costs of the opioid crisis,” Tobias said.The distributors’ latest proposal is $8 billion higher than the $10 billion offer they made in August. The National Association of Attorneys General, the group sponsoring talks on behalf of more than 35 states, countered with a demand for $45 billion at the time.The drug distributors generate large amounts of cash that could be used to pay a settlement. In its 2019 fiscal year, San Francisco-based McKesson generated $4.04 billion from operations, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In fiscal 2018, Cardinal brought in $2.77 billion and AmerisourceBergen $1.41 billion.QuickTake: The Opioid CrisisStates, cities and counties claim opioid makers, including J&J and Teva, downplayed the painkillers’ health risks and oversold their benefits through hyper-aggressive marketing campaigns. Distributors, considered to have the deeper pockets by plaintiffs’ lawyers, are accused of ignoring red flags about misuse of the painkillers and illegally flooding states with pills.For example, one pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia -- population 400 -- received almost 5 million doses from McKesson between 2005 and 2006, records show. About 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Kermit, the company shipped more than 5.8 million doses to a pharmacy in Mount Gay -- population 1,800 -- between 2006 and 2014. Another 2.3 million doses went to a pharmacy three miles away.McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, along with other distributors, shipped a total of 76 billion pain pills over a six-year period starting in 2006, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The companies deny the governments’ allegations and have advanced dozens of legal and factual defenses, saying they complied with all state and federal laws.Teva has been grappling with billions in debt as well as thousands of opioid suits over its generic painkillers. Teva’s 2015 acquisition of Allergan Plc‘s generic business for $40.5 billion pushed the company’s debt load from $10 billion to $35 billion.Chief Executive Officer Kare Schultz, who stepped into his role in late 2017, is trying to right a company hurt by falling margins on generic drugs and rapidly declining sales in its best-selling Copaxone multiple-sclerosis drug. Last year, the drugmaker cut its net debt by almost $1 billion to $28.4 billion.Teva officials have told the attorneys generas’ lawyers that the company’s debt load leaves little free cash flow for an opioid settlement, the people said. That’s why it’s offering access to free Narcan, an overdose drug, the people said. In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Teva’s request to start selling a generic version of Narcan, a nasal spray version of the opioid-overdose reversal agent Naxalone.In August, Teva officials set aside $646 million to help pay legal expenses related to its alleged role in the abuse of the addictive painkillers linked to tens of thousands American deaths annually. Those funds weren’t devoted to paying settlements.Teva’s bid to use the drugs-for-dismissal model to resolve its opioid liability may indicate the company could face bankruptcy if the proposal gets turned down, said Elizabeth Burch, a University of Georgia law professor who teaches about product-liability law.“I guess free drugs are better than nothing, but it’s not perfect,” Burch said in an interview. “The real question is whether the local governments want to keep this company out of bankruptcy by accepting this offer.”(Updates stock-price movements beginning in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at firstname.lastname@example.org;Riley Griffin in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Timothy Annett, Mark SchoifetFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Wall Street closed Tuesday's trading session at more than three-week high, thanks to better-than expected third quarter 2019 earnings of mostly major American banks.
(Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson won’t set aside any legal reserves for the more than 100,000 lawsuits it faces across its portfolio of drugs, consumer products and medical devices, saying it expects to fight and win many of the claims.The company has spent $832 million on litigation expenses this year, and outside estimates of damages from lawsuits over opioids, psychiatric drugs, talc powder and medical devices range in the tens of billions of dollars. While several large verdicts have attracted headlines, J&J Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said the company expects to fight and win many of the thousands of cases.“Right now if you think about some of the cases that are out there, they are likely subject to our prevailing on appeal,” Wolk said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “There’s nothing to book, nothing to accrue. It wouldn’t even meet the accounting standards.”Setting aside legal reserves is an accounting matter, and companies don’t typically include them until they believe they can be reasonably estimated.The lawsuits have overshadowed the company’s otherwise robust business results. J&J reported third-quarter earnings Tuesday and raised its full-year profit forecast after beating analysts’ estimates, thanks to growing sales in its drug unit and what it touted as strong results in medical devices. But the shares are still well-off their 52-week high in December.“Investors are starting to come around. They’re starting to get an appreciation, a better certainty around the level of risk that actually is within the stock,” Wolk said.J&J rose 1.6% to $132.84 in New York. The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company’s stock has gained 2.9% this year.*Court-approved global settlement agreementsThird-quarter adjusted earnings were $2.12 a share, the company said in a statement, topping the $2.01 average of analysts’ estimates. The company raised its 2019 adjusted earnings forecast to $8.62 to $8.67 a share, up from $8.53 to $8.63. It’s the second raise this year.Profit was up from a year before, with net earnings of $4.83 billion in the third quarter, versus $3.93 billion a year prior.The company’s pharmaceutical unit grew 5.1% despite U.S. pricing pressures and competition to blockbuster immunotherapy drug Remicade and cancer treatment Zytiga. Sales of the two drugs are expected to decline more next year as generic competitors eat into their share, J&J’s Worldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals Jennifer Taubert said during a Tuesday call with investors.The company said its medical device unit had its best quarter since 2015, after accounting for acquisitions, divestitures and currency headwinds.“I feel pretty confident that our platform will start to get back to the market performance,” said J&J Worldwide Chairman of Medical Devices Ashley McEvoy, pointing to growth among its electrophysiology products and its orthopedics business.LawsuitsWolk said the J&J would continue to defend legal claims that it thought it could win.“The management team here will look at what a reasonable outcome could be for all stakeholders involved,” Wolk said. “When products are safe, when they’re effective, we’re going to look to make sure that those products aren’t subject to what’s become unfortunately a big business model for plaintiff’s attorneys.”The accusations against the drugmaker are substantial. Last week, a jury ordered J&J to pay $8 billion for wrongfully pushing doctors to prescribe the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal to the elderly and to children -- though the verdict is unlikely to be upheld on appeal. In 2013, the company agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve civil and criminal claims brought by the U.S. government that it illegally marketed the drug. Some teenage boys who took the pills developed female-sized breasts and sued the company.The company has also been accused of helping drive the U.S. opioid epidemic, and is one of two dozen companies that have been sued by states, cities and counties. In March, it lost a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma and was ordered to pay $572 million for wrongfully marketing its pain drugs in the states.Not even its consumer unit has been immune. More than 15,000 suits claim the company’s talc powder caused different types of cancers because of contamination with asbestos.On Tuesday, a Missouri appeals court overturned a $110 million jury verdict against J&J in a lawsuit by a Virginia woman who alleged the talc-based products caused her ovarian cancer. The reversal of the 2017 judgment marks another major legal win for the company that could help reduce its liabilities. Three other talc-related verdicts appealed to the Missouri court have also been overturned.Amid the scrutiny, J&J has relaunched many products in its baby unit. Sales there have yet to recover, with U.S. revenue in the baby care group down 24% from a year prior, to $91 million.(Adds information about talc litigation in 18th paragraph)\--With assistance from Jef Feeley.To contact the reporter on this story: Riley Griffin in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark SchoifetFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Wall Street advanced on Tuesday as third-quarter reporting season hit with a spate of upbeat earnings reports that brought buyers back to the equities market. All three major U.S. stock averages gained ground in a broad-based rally, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hitting their highest closing level in more than three weeks. "Positive earnings are flowing through equity markets today, suggesting that things weren't as bad as investors thought," said Charlie Ripley, senior market strategist for Allianz Investment Management in Minneapolis.