Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, October 4th.

According to Zacks, “Sales in J&J’s domestic Pharma segment have decelerated this year as a number of key growth drivers like Remicade and Concerta are facing competition.  However, J&J is optimistic that sales growth will accelerate in 2H. We believe that new drugs like Xarelto, Stelara, Darzalex, and Imbruvica remain the key to growth. Meanwhile, share buybacks and restructuring initiatives should provide bottom-line support. J&J is also making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions. However, J&J’s shares have underperformed the industry this year so far. Headwinds like negative currency movement, generics, pricing pressure and soft global market conditions remain. Sluggish growth in the Consumer segment is also a concern. Meanwhile, HCV sales continue to decline amid intense competition.  Estimates have remained mostly stable ahead of the Q3 results. J&J has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on JNJ. J P Morgan Chase & Co increased their target price on Johnson & Johnson from $140.00 to $148.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $148.00 target price (up previously from $136.00) on shares of Johnson & Johnson in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. BidaskClub upgraded Johnson & Johnson from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 17th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $135.00 price objective (up from $132.00) on shares of Johnson & Johnson in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, BTIG Research downgraded Johnson & Johnson from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $110.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $135.98.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) traded up 2.30% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $139.25. The company had a trading volume of 3,613,546 shares. Johnson & Johnson has a 52-week low of $109.32 and a 52-week high of $139.48. The company has a market capitalization of $373.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.56 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $132.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $130.27.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The company reported $1.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.80 by $0.10. Johnson & Johnson had a return on equity of 26.76% and a net margin of 22.52%. The firm had revenue of $19.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $19.29 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.68 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Johnson & Johnson will post $7.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Johnson & Johnson news, VP Paulus Stoffels sold 102,692 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.14, for a total value of $13,672,412.88. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 230,342 shares in the company, valued at $30,667,733.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Dominic J. Caruso sold 82,591 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.72, for a total transaction of $11,291,841.52. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 226,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,993,466.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 1.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 200,450,985 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,517,661,000 after buying an additional 3,023,110 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 2.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 174,073,764 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,028,219,000 after buying an additional 4,332,612 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 4.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 160,223,321 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,955,806,000 after buying an additional 6,656,371 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 5.9% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 27,237,648 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,603,268,000 after buying an additional 1,509,745 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital World Investors lifted its stake in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 4.1% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 26,510,007 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,507,009,000 after buying an additional 1,050,000 shares in the last quarter. 65.90% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a holding company, which is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. It operates through three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices. Its primary focus is products related to human health and well-being.

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