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Raymond James Expects Johnson & Johnson's Growth To Accelerate Into 2020

Priya Nigam

Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) bottom line continues to be come under pressure from forex and generic competition, and the company faces sentiment-related headwinds, according to Raymond James.

These factors are already reflected in the share price, though, and growth is expected to accelerate toward the end of 2019 and into 2020, the sell-side firm said. 

The Analyst

Analyst Jayson Bedford maintained an Outperform rating on Johnson & Johnson with a $145 price target.

The Thesis

Raymond James reduced its first-quarter EPS estimate from $2.11 to $1.95 and raised the second-quarter EPS estimate from $2.20 to $2.42.

The estimate adjustments reflect a shift in R&D assumptions and the timing of the Advanced Sterilization Products divestiture, Bedford said in a Friday note. 

The divestiture is now expected to close early in the second quarter, the analyst said.

Raymond James' first-quarter estimate has been impacted by higher R&D assumptions due to the upfront payment of $300 million to Argenx SE (NASDAQ: ARGX) as part of a collaboration and license agreement, he said. 

The analyst said no changes were made to revenue estimates. 

Johnson & Johnson typically issues conservative guidance, which points toward some organic upside that could result from milder generic headwinds, a faster Spravato uptake and Erdafinitib approval, Bedford said. 

Price Action

Johnson & Johnson shares were down 0.27 percent at $136.51 at the time of publication Monday. 

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Latest Ratings for JNJ

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2019 Citigroup Maintains Neutral Neutral
Jan 2019 Wells Fargo Maintains Outperform Outperform
Jan 2019 Morgan Stanley Maintains Equal-Weight Equal-Weight

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