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Johnson & Johnson Tops Earnings Forecast, Boosts Guidance: Shares Gain

Johnson & Johnson sees reported sales between $90.6 billion and $91.6 billion this year following a stronger-than-expected first quarter that included a 5% dividend boost.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday, and boosted its full-year earnings forecast as medical device and pharmaceutical sales recorded solid poast-pandemic gains.

Johnson & Johnson said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March were pegged at $2.59 cents per share, up 12.6% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.34 per share. Group revenues, Johnson & Johnson said, rose 7.9% to $22.3 billion, again besting analysts' estimates of a $22 billion tally.

Vaccine sales, Johnson & Johnson said, reached $100 million. 

"Johnson & Johnson delivered a strong first quarter performance led by the above market growth of our Pharmaceutical business and continued recovery in Medical Devices," said CEO Alex Gorsky. "The ability to deliver these results while simultaneously advancing our robust pipeline of life-enhancing medicines, products and solutions during these times is a testament to the strength and resilience of our business and the dedication of the 135,000 employees of Johnson & Johnson who strive every day to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity and make healthier communities for everyone, everywhere."

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The consumer brands and healthcare group also tightened the range of its 2021 adjusted earnings forecast to $9.42 to $9.57 per share, a 16.8% gain from last year at the mid-point, while estimating sales growth of around 9.3%.

Johnson & Johnson shares were marked 1% higher in early trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $164.35 each, nudging its six-month gain to around 13.7%.

Earlier this week, Johnson & Johnson reiterated its commitment to delivering 100 million doses of its single-shot vaccine after the Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paused its use amid concerns of blood clotting cases after six people -- among nearly 7 millions -- were found to have developed issues within two weeks of receiving the single-dose shot.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical advisor, told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he expects use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be resumed later this week "likely with some sort of warning or restriction or assessment."