Health Canada Approves Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine


Health Canada has authorized the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine of Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company, to prevent COVID-19 in individuals aged 18 years and older.

Health Canada’s authorization was based on the scientific evidence provided by the company, which included initial data from the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study. The data demonstrated the efficacy of the vaccine at 85% in preventing the disease, and showed protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death, beginning 28 days after vaccination.

Notably, the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the company’s vaccine in protecting against both moderate and severe COVID-19 disease. (See Johnson & Johnson stock charts on TipRanks)

Official Comments

The Global Head, Janssen Research & Development at Johnson & Johnson, Mathai Mammen, said, “As vaccination rates continue to climb, a vaccine that prevents severe disease and protects against COVID-related hospitalization and death will help ease the strain on healthcare systems and is an important option for people in Canada and around the world.”

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Wall Street’s Take

On November 19, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen reiterated a Buy rating and a price target of $215 (34.17% upside potential) on the stock.

Chen commented, “The company’s existing drugs as well as its pipeline are underappreciated in terms of what is currently reflected in the share price. JNJ expects ~5%+ CAGR and growth every year through 2025. We estimate the annual market growth rate will be at a ~3-4% CAGR over the same period. JNJ is forecasting $60B of Pharma sales in 2025, and this is based only on its existing portfolio, which leaves room for upside, in our view. FactSet consensus is at $55.0B in 2025 and we are at $55.6B.”

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 5 Buys versus 1 Hold. The average Johnson & Johnson price target of $194 implies 21.1% upside potential from current levels. Shares have gained 11.5% over the past year.

Hedge Fund Holdings

TipRanks’ Hedge Fund Trading Activity tool shows that confidence in Johnson & Johnson is currently Very Positive, as the cumulative change in holdings across all 27 hedge funds that were active in the last quarter was an increase of 757,500 shares.

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