NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) gave the markets a reason to continue Monday's rally. The healthcare giant announced results Tuesday morning that beat Wall Street consensus estimates for earnings per share and revenue.
Wow $jnj crushed it. Congrats longs-- Aleks (@NYCStox) Apr. 15 at 07:48 AM
The results confirmed the growing bullishness on Johnson & Johnson on StockTwits.com.
Plus, many investors said that J&J's quarterly results, particularly the growth of its pharmaceutical business, could help lift the beaten-down biotech sector. iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) has lost 5.2% in the past five days.
Johnson & Johnson reported first quarter earnings per share of $1.54 on $18.1 billion in sales. That topped analysts' EPS estimates by 6 cents and sales predictions by $100 million, according to the Analyst Ratings Network. It was the top-trending ticker on StockTwits.com early Tuesday morning.
The company increased its full year EPS guidance to between $5.80 to $5.90, excluding special items. The new midpoint of the guidance topped consensus calls for $5.83.
Much of J&J's growth was fueled by medicines. Pharmaceutical sales grew 12.2%, discounting the impact of currency. Drugs to treat arthritis, schizophrenia and myeloma buoyed results. The consumer business actually weighed on growth.
Shares opened more than 2% higher to top $97 per share. Many investors called for more gains. Sentiment on Johnson & Johnson stood at around 86% bullish before the open, according to StockTwits' analytics.
$JNJ Today 100$ !-- Emanuele Mercanti (@Merk80) Apr. 15 at 07:56 AM
The consensus price target is $76.92, according to the Analyst Ratings Network. The stock would have to fall 21% to get there.
Indeed, some investors focused on the weaknesses in J&J's earnings. Worldwide consumer sales fell 3.2% from the same period a year ago. The company attributed most of the decrease to exchange rates. But it admitted 0.6% of it came from operations. Domestic and international sales each decreased.
But there were few signs of J&J sinking to analysts' targets Tuesday. In fact, most signs pointed to an up day for J&J and the markets in general. Johnson & Johnson is a major Dow (DIA) component.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.