With Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) facing off against the state of Oklahoma this week over its potential responsibility for the opioid crisis in that state, BMO Capital Markets issued a report Thursday on the company's thinking as it heads to court.
Joanne Wuensch maintained an Outperform rating on Johnson & Johnson with a $157 price target.
An Oklahoma case allges that Johnson & Johnson it has some responsibility for the opioid epidemic, Wuensch said in a Thursday note. (See her track record here.)
After a $270-million settlement by Purdue in March and an -million settlement by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE: TEVA) in May, J&J is the remaining defendant in the case, relative to the sales of its Duragesic transdermal patch and the drug Nucynta.
The analyst highlighted the following takeaways following a conversation with the company regarding the litigation:
- J&J feels strongly that its products were specifically designed to limit abuse.
- Since the case is heard by a judge and not a jury, a hearing could take two to four weeks, with completion in two months.
- Litigation is a common occurrence in the health care sector that takes significant time to resolve, and often headlines are worse than reality.
J&J is now part of federal multidistrict litigation that bundles opioid cases for over 20 companies that's set to begin in late October, Wuensch said.
The Price Action
Johnson & Johnson shares were trading higher by 0.72 percent at $132.30.
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Photo by Dustin Blitchok.
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