Johnson & Johnson Beats in Q3 But Pauses Covid-19 Vaccines Tests

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Johnson & Johnson posted its third quarter financial results this week revealing a beat and also raised its full-year guidance.

The multinational corporation giant also revealed that it had paused its final-phase Covid-19 vaccine testing, including its key Phase 3 clinical trials. The move came after an unexplained illness of one participant.

As per its Phase 3 procedures, J&J said an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board and the company’s own clinical and safety physicians would review and evaluate the participant before any trials would resume.

According to Johnson & Johnson, such a pause is not unusual and is not like a pause from a Food and Drug Administration regulatory hold. The company did not say when its coronavirus vaccine trials might resume.

This is the second pause for a final-phase Covid-19 vaccine trial after U.K.-based AstraZeneca (AZN) announced on Sept. 6 that it had paused its Phase 3 trials after a participant became ill.

For the third quarter, Johnson & Johnson had reported adjusted earnings of $2.20 per share on $21.08 billion in sales. This beat what analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting. On average they had called for adjusted profit of $1.96 per share on $20.15 billion in sales.

In the year-ago period, J&J posted adjusted earnings of $2.12 a share on $20.73 billion in sales.

Looking ahead for the full year, the company has projected adjusted earnings of $7.95 to $8.05 a share, on sales of $81.2 billion to $82 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $7.87 per share on $80.8 billion in sales.

In its second-quarter earnings report, J&J forecast 2020 earnings $7.75-$7.95 a share on sales of $79.9 billion-$81.4 billion.

J&J Chief Executive Alex Gorsky said a better-than-expected recovery in medical device sales helped third-quarter earnings.

Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans said the results were “solid” and reiterated a buy recommendation. “We have a favorable view of the company’s diversification and the defensive nature of its product portfolio, and we continue to believe that growth will be driven by innovation,” Evans wrote.

CFRA Research analyst Sel Hardy also reiterated a “strong buy” recommendation on the stock.

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.

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