The beleaguered drug and consumer products giant got a rare, healthy financial checkup and prescription from Cantor Fitzgerald, which initiated coverage on the stock with an overweight recommendation and one-year price target roughly 19% higher than current levels.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen initiated coverage on the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company with the overweight rating and a 12-month price target of $160. Shares of Johnson & Johnson were at $135.09 in morning trading on Wednesday.
The out-of-the-gate overweight recommendation comes as the embattled 143-year-old pharmaceuticals, medical devices and packaged goods maker continues to dole out billions of dollars in settlements related to state lawsuits against it for its alleged role in the U.S. opioid epidemic, and to additional lawsuits related to its iconic baby powder containing cancer-causing asbestos.
Johnson & Johnson last month confirmed it will contribute $4 billion to families of opioid victims as part of the settlement with state attorneys general. The company also last week released results of 15 new tests from the same bottle of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder previously tested by the Food and Drug Administration that found no cancer-causing asbestos.
"A lot of investing is just waiting until the market hates good companies. Johnson & Johnson is a good company that is suffering from bad news of late," Karmin Line Capital CIO and TheStreet contributor Mark Sebastian wrote in a recent Real Money Pro commentary.
"The recent lows on baby powder/opioid litigation and some other bad news had the stock around $126," Sebastian said. "JNJ is now rebounding a bit to the $130 level, but there is some premium left in the options and an opportunity to grab 2019 lows."