The company also announced a 6.3% increase in the quarterly dividend rate, from $0.95 per share to $1.01 per share, marking the 58th consecutive year of dividend growth. At the new rate, the indicated dividend on an annual basis is $4.04 per share compared to the previous rate of $3.80 per share.
However, JNJ did lower its full year financial guidance to account for the impact of Covid-19 and the related investments the company is making to combat the pandemic.
“We are leveraging our scientific expertise, operational scale and financial strength in the effort to advance the work on our lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to beginning production at risk imminently and bringing an affordable and accessible vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use.”
Following the news, Mizuho Securities analyst Vamil Divan noted that the company’s pharmaceutical division beat consensus expectations by ~6% and delivered a strong 10% year-over-year global operational sales growth, much higher than the trend of 4-8% growth seen in the last few quarters.
“Interestingly, International sales grew 12% operationally (+8.8% reported), despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which we view as encouraging for other US Pharma companies with operations in these markets” he told investors on April 14.
Overall, TipRanks reveals that JNJ has a bullish Strong Buy analyst consensus. That’s with a $155 average analyst price target (7% upside potential). Shares are currently trading down 4% year-to-date. (See JNJ’s stock analysis on TipRanks)
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