Johnson & Johnson Expects Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Results Out Soon

Johnson & Johnson announced that it is likely to release the Phase 3 trial results of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate soon as the US pharma company reported its 4Q and FY20 earnings. Shares gained 2.7% and closed at $170.48 on Jan. 26.

“We continue to progress our COVID-19 vaccine candidate and look forward to sharing details from our Phase 3 study soon,” Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) CEO Alex Gorsky said. “Johnson & Johnson was built for times like these, and I am extremely confident in our ability to deliver lasting value and continued innovation in 2021 and for years to come.”

The consumer goods and pharma company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.86 per share, which came in ahead of analysts’ estimates of $1.82. Revenue rose 8.3% to $22.5 billion year-on-year during the quarter, beating consensus estimates of $21.7 billion.

Johnson & Johnson said quarterly sales were driven by strong operational year-on-year growth at its pharmaceutical segment and consumer health business which grew 14.6% and 2%, respectively.

“Our notable full year performance reflects the continued confidence from patients, physicians, customers and consumers in our life-enhancing products and medicines, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gorsky said.

Johnson & Johnson also provided FY21 outlook. The company expects adjusted earnings of between $9.40 to $9.60 per share. Sales are projected to be in the range of $90.5 to $91.7 billion. (See JNJ stock analysis on TipRanks)

J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov expects results from the Phase 3 study of JNJ’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate to be released next week.

“Mgmt was asked about the % of patients in the Ph3 study from South Africa and Brazil in the context of different variants, but details were not disclosed; we note that 17%/14% of clinical trial sites (actively recruiting sites based on clinicaltrials.gov) are in SA/Brazil, respectively, but this is likely not representative of the actual patient breakdown,” Kasimov wrote in a note to investors.

Wall Street analysts are bullish about the stock and the consensus is a Strong Buy with 7 analysts recommending a Buy. The average price target of $190.75 implies almost 12% upside potential to current levels.

According to TipRanks Smart Score system, Johnson & Johnson scores a perfect 10 that indicates a high likelihood of outperformance.

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