Johnson & Johnson’s cancer drug sales help weather hit from stronger dollar

Johnson & Johnson reported quarterly results on Tuesday that beat analysts’ estimates on strength at its pharmaceuticals unit, even as the company cut its full-year adjusted profit forecast due to a stronger dollar.

J&J joins other major U.S. multinationals, including Microsoft and IBM, warning of a knock from the strength of the U.S. currency.

The dollar has soared 12% this year through July, and is expected to remain strong for at least the next three months, a Reuters poll of FX analysts showed.

Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk, in a CNBC interview, blamed the forecast cut entirely on currency fluctuations, pointing to the parity between the dollar and euro.

Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals unit, its largest, has reported strong results for the last few quarters, even as delayed surgical procedures crimped sales growth at the company’s medical devices unit during the pandemic.

Double-digit growth in sales of cancer drug Darzalex and Crohn’s disease drug Stelara helped J&J beat estimates for second-quarter profit.

Total sales rose about 3% to $24.02 billion, with nearly half of the sales coming from outside the United States. Analysts had expected sales of $23.77 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $2.59 per share, beating estimates of $2.54 per share.

Sales of the drug Stelara jumped 14.3% to $2.60 billion, while Darzalex revenue rose nearly 40% to $1.99 billion.

J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine, which has seen weak demand and slow uptake, brought in $544 million in sales in the reported quarter.

Medical devices sales fell 1.1% to $6.90 billion, partly due to lockdowns in China.

J&J now expects full-year adjusted profit of $10.00 to $10.10 per share, compared with its prior forecast of $10.15 to $10.35.

The company’s shares rose nearly 1% to $175.85 in premarket trading.

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