J.P. Morgan: Johnson & Johnson's Drug Segment May Beat Q2 Street Views


Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) pharmaceuticals products may drive second-quarter results to just above Street views when it reports earnings next week, an analyst said Thursday.

J.P. Morgan's Michael Weinstein said the segment is growing at an annual rate of 15 percent. But it's offset by Johnson & Johnson's medical device and diagnostics business growth rate in the single digits, Weinstein said.

Weinstein's outlook is based partly on sales of Olysio, a hepatitis C drug on pace to post a 300 percent gain in the second quarter through off label prescriptions in conjunction with Gilead Sciences' Sofosbuvir.

But Johnson & Johnson's gains from the drug are likely to prove fleeting. Gilead expects to have its Sovaldi-ledipasvir compound cleared for marketing in October, and the arrival of a single-pill treatment will capture 100 percent of the market, Weinstein said.

Olysio sales may peak at $2.2 billion in 2014 and fall off to a mere $550 million by 2016.

Despite his prediction of an earnings beat, Weinstein maintained a Neutral rating and $108 target on the healthcare products giant.

Weinstein expects second-quarter earnings of $1.56 a share versus the consensus of $1.54, on sales of $19.5 billion, slightly ahead of the Street View.

Johnson & Johnson closed Thursday at $105.80, down 0.23 percent.

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