Johnson & Johnson Posts Higher Quarterly Profit
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Greater demand for medical devices, drugs and consumer-health products helped boost sales and profit for Johnson & Johnson in the latest quarter, a sign people are returning for healthcare services they deferred earlier in the pandemic. Sales of J&J's medical devices climbed 63% year over year, the company said Wednesday. Higher sales of the company's skin-care and beauty products helped lift J&J's consumer-health revenue by 13% compared with a year earlier. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company, a bellwether for the healthcare industry because its products span several categories, logged sales of $23.31 billion -- a 27% increase year over year -- and adjusted earnings of $2.48 a share.The stock price of the medical company added $1.04, or 0.6%, to $169.49. J&J executives expressed confidence the return to healthcare use would continue, saying they didn't expect the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus would have an impact. J&J said sales of its Covid-19 vaccine, which generated $164 million in revenue in the second quarter, would pick up during the latter parts of the year. The shot should notch $2.5 billion in revenue for the year, most of it in the fourth quarter, Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said.
The Swiss stock market continued its recovery course on Wednesday and regained the 12,000 point mark. The SMI increased 0.6 percent to 12,022 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 17 price gainers and three losers. 37.83 (previously: 40.69) million shares were traded. Novartis turned after initial premiums 0.7 percent into the red. Investors had acted according to the motto "sell the facts". The pharmaceutical group had beaten both sales expectations and forecasts for adjusted core operating profit. Competitor Roche shares were up 0.4 percent, and the company will report financial results on Thursday. The drugmaker also scored a victory in the U.S. for its drug Venclexta. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted breakthrough therapy status for Venclexta, which contains the active ingredient venetoclax in combination with azacitidine, in MDS. Morgan Stanley upgraded Swiss Life shares, with the stock climbing 3.2 percent. Sika (+0.5 percent) bought in the U.S. and Canada. AMS gained 3.5 percent in the wake of good results from ASML. Georg Fischer was up 1.2 percent. Analysts were confident: the strong order intake in the first half of the year pointed to further growth and, in addition, profitability would increase, commented Baader Helvea. Private bank Julius Baer (+2.2 percent) earned almost a quarter more in the first half of 2021 thanks to cost savings and a strong increase in assets under management. Also (+7.2 percent) and Valora (+7.7 percent) presented positive business figures.
European stocks climbed as several heavily weighted companies reported results and as earnings and rising coronavirus cases around the world remained in focus for investors. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 1.7% to 454 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gained 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 1.4% and the FTSE 100 in London gained 1.7%. Investors are putting concerns about the economic effects of the Delta variant to one side, though markets are expected to remain jittery heading into the peak summer vacation period. Oil and gas stocks finished strongly up, following the oil price, such as CGG (+6.4%) and Vallourec (+6.4%). Jefferies raised its recommendation on Sodexo (+5.2%) from "underperform" to "buy". The financial intermediary also increased its target price for the stock to 85 euros, from 70 euros previously. British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group, airline EasyJet and cruise-operator Carnival all gained 5% or more. Next rose 8.9% after the British clothes retailer raised its profit guidance and declared a special dividend. Shares of SAP fell, after the German software maker reported lower operating profit and revenue in the second quarter. That is as SAP lifted its targets for the year, citing expectations for higher cloud revenue growth. Stock in ASML Holding climbed, after the Dutch semiconductor equipment maker reported higher second-quarter net profit rose and lifted full-year revenue growth guidance. It also launched a share-buyback program of up to EUR9 billion ($10.60 billion) until the end of 2023.
U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, extending the previous session’s rebound, as investors turned their focus to the banner start to corporate earnings season. The S&P 500 climbed 35.63 points, or 0.8%, to 4358.69, a day after the broad market gauge posted its biggest one-day gain since late March. The two-day advance helped unwind Monday’s steep drop and leaves the index within 0.6% of its record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 286.01 points, or 0.8%, to 34798.00, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 133.08 points, or 0.9%, to 14631.95. A strong start to earnings season has helped buoy sentiment after Monday’s steep selloff sparked by concerns over rising coronavirus cases. U.S. crude oil rose 4.6% to $70.30, its biggest one-day percentage gain since April 14. In corporate news, Chipotle Mexican Grill climbed $181.64, or 12%, to $1,755.99, a record, after reporting sales that blew past pre-pandemic levels. Coca-Cola added 72 cents, or 1.3%, to $56.55 after saying earnings this year would trump the beverage giant’s previous forecast. Harley-Davidson fell $3.15, or 7.2%, to $40.65 on lower-than-expected motorcycle and related product sales.
With significant increases, the stock markets in East Asia close on Thursday and thus follow Wall Street upwards, which continued its recovery course on Wednesday. Day winner so far is the Hong Kong stock exchange, where the Hang Seng Index after three days of losses now rises by 1.8 percent. In Shanghai, the Composite Index advanced 0.3 percent. On the Seoul stock exchange, the Kospi gained 1.1 percent. In Japan, meanwhile, stock market trading was suspended on Thursday and Friday due to holidays. Among the individual stocks, the shares of the real estate developer Evergrande in Hong Kong recovered by 9 percent from the slump of the past two days by a total of 25 percent.
U.S. Treasury prices fell Wednesday, pushing the yield on the 10-year note further to 1.279% from 1.208% Tuesday, its largest one-day jump since June 16. Yields move in the opposite direction to bond prices and have skidded in recent weeks in a sign of waning concerns about a prolonged overshoot in inflation.
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