Johnson & Johnson posts higher sales, big 4Q profit jump

Johnson & Johnson posts higher sales, big 4Q profit jump
This Oct. 21, 2019, photo shows Johnson's Baby Aloe & Vitamin E Powder in Salt Lake City. Johnson & Johnson reports financial results Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Higher prescription drug sales helped push Johnson & Johnson’s fourth-quarter profit up by 32%.

The world’s biggest maker of health care products on Wednesday reported net income of $4.01 billion, or $1.50 per share. That’s up from $3.04 billion, or $1.12, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings came to $1.88 per share, matching the expectations of industry analysts, according to a survey by FactSet.

Total revenue edged up 1.7% to $20.75 billion.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey, based maker of baby shampoo and biologic drugs forecast 2020 revenue of $85.4 billion to $86.2 billion, and adjusted earnings per share of $8.95 to $9.10.

Sales at J&J’s prescription drug division jumped 3.5% to $10.55 billion, driving the strong results for the company as it has in recent years. Sales were led by immune disorder drug Stelara and several cancer drugs.

At J&J’s medical devices and diagnostics business, which the company has been restructuring, sales declined 0.5% to $6.63 billion. Sales at its consumer health division, which sells baby products and over-the-counter medicines, rose 0.9% to $3.57 billion.

For all of 2019, J&J reported sales of$82.06 billion and net income of $15.12 billion, or $5.63 per share.