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You don't get anymore blue-chip than
Johnson & Johnson(JNJ - Get Report). The $189 billion health care firm may be best known for consumer products like Band-Aid brand bandages and Tylenol, but the firm also owns huge medical device and pharmaceutical units too.
Hedge funds picked up shares of JNJ
en masse in the second quarter, piling on 18.97 million shares to hike their holdings of the stock up to $4.53 billion. (Johnson & Johnson is one of the
top holdings of Renaissance Technologies.)
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Johnson & Johnson is focused on staying a well-diversified healthcare company. While pharma ballooned to nearly 40% of the firm's sales in recent years, that number should make its way down below 30% again in the near-term, thanks to the same patent losses challenging the rest of the industry and major acquisitions in the medical device arena. Healthcare is a recession-resistant business that's only looking stronger in the wake of healthcare reform. Regardless of the politics involved, more folks able to pay for JNJ's drugs and medical devices will ultimately boost the firm's bottom line.
Already, JNJ has mountains of cash. At last count, the firm's coffers stood $17 billion deep, offsetting a debt position of just over half that. That abundance of dry powders should continue to provide growth-by-acquisition opportunities for the firm (even after the huge Synthes deal), and keep its dividend payout big.
Investors looking for a defensive addition to their portfolio could do worse than copying hedge funds on the JNJ trade.