Skip to main content

Johnson & Johnson’s Q1 Checkup: Mixed Results, Optimism Remains

Photo showing a rainbow mirrored Johnson & Johnson building. Q1 performance was mixed, but optimism remains.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is one of the world's largest healthcare companies, with a diverse product portfolio that includes pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer health products. Johnson & Johnson recently released its Q1 2024 earnings report, and its Q1FY2024 financials are significant for the company and the broader medical device (MedTech) sector, which is part of the larger healthcare sector

The healthcare sector has struggled with supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures and evolving government regulations. Johnson & Johnson's performance is an early indicator of the industry's health and ability to navigate the current challenges. So, what does Johnson & Johnson's Q1 2024 performance reveal about the overall health of the MedTech sector and how is the company performing while facing industry and economic challenges? Let's take a look.

Johnson & Johnson's Q1 2024: Metrics and Implications

Johnson & Johnson's Q1 2024 earnings report provided mixed results, with solid revenue growth but pressure on profit margins. The company reported $21.4 billion in total revenue, a 2.3% YOY increase. While modest, this growth reflects resilience in the face of economic headwinds. Operational sales growth, which adjusts for currency fluctuations, was stronger at 3.9%. This metric clarifies Johnson & Johnson's core business performance, highlighting increased product demand. Adjusted operational growth, excluding the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine, reached an impressive 7.7%, underscoring its product portfolio's strength and ability to drive sales even as pandemic-related demand for the vaccine subsides.

The medtech segment stood out in Q1, with 6.5% operational sales growth, demonstrating Johnson & Johnson's competitiveness in areas like electrophysiology (treatment of heart rhythm disorders) and wound closure solutions. The Innovative Medicines segment also exhibited positive growth, with a 2.5% increase in operational sales (excluding the COVID-19 vaccine). While less dramatic than medtech, this signifies ongoing demand for Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical products.

The company successfully widened its net profit margin in Q1 2024, resulting in robust GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) earnings of $2.20 per share, exceeding prior-year results. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS), which excludes non-recurring items, reached $2.71, a notable 12.4% increase from Q1 2023. This demonstrates Johnson & Johnson's efficiency and the effectiveness of its cost control measures amidst inflationary pressures.

Johnson & Johnson raised the midpoint of its full-year 2024 guidance for both operational sales and adjusted EPS, signaling the company's internal optimism regarding its ability to meet the year's targets, manage ongoing challenges and deliver value to shareholders.

Decoding the Analyst Outlook

The analyst community has reacted favorably to the company's Q1 results. While maintaining a Hold rating, the consensus price target points to a decent upside potential. This optimism stems from the company's improved margins, earnings outperformance and revised guidance for the full year. The analysts' sentiment suggests that the market views Johnson & Johnson's stock as currently undervalued, leading to expectations of a share price rebound in the near term.

Investor Implications

Q1 performance and analyst outlook offer a few key takeaways for investors. Johnson & Johnson's dividend increase track record stands out in the industry. The company has increased its dividend for 62 consecutive years, a testament to its financial stability. This milestone secures its position as a dividend aristocrat, making it an enticing investment for income-oriented investors seeking consistent and reliable returns. While some insider selling was noted, this is a common practice and doesn't necessarily signify bearish sentiment on the company's future. The combination of dividend strength and the potential for share price appreciation creates a compelling value proposition for investors seeking a mix of income and growth.

Pharma Powerhouse: Drivers of Growth

The Innovative Medicines segment stood out in Q1 2024, demonstrating the company's continued strength in pharmaceuticals. Several key drugs fueled this growth, particularly in oncology (cancer treatment) and immunology (treating immune system disorders). These include:

  • DARZALEX, ERLEADA, CARVYKTI and TECVAYLI: oncology drugs with increasing demand and market share.
  • UPTRAVI and OPSUMIT: drugs that treat pulmonary hypertension, a serious condition affecting blood vessels in the lungs.
  • TREMFYA: drug that treats plaque psoriasis, a common skin condition
  • SPRAVATO: novel treatment for depression

Importantly, even excluding sales of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Innovative Medicines segment exhibited solid growth trends. This underscores the underlying strength of Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical portfolio, its success in developing new treatments and its ability to capture market share in competitive therapeutic areas.

MedTech: A Challenging Sector

Johnson & Johnson's medtech segment delivered mixed results in Q1 2024. While achieving overall positive sales growth, the performance highlights both the segment's strengths and challenges. Specific product lines drove this growth:

  • Cardiovascular devices demonstrate the company's leadership in addressing critical cardiovascular needs, particularly in electrophysiology (treatment of heart rhythm disorders) and the recently acquired Abiomed.
  • General surgery solutions, such as wound closure products, also exhibited positive growth, underscoring the ongoing demand for these essential medical tools.

However, navigating an evolving regulatory landscape proved challenging. The European Medical Device Regulation (MDR) introduced stricter standards and compliance requirements, increasing costs and potentially impacting the pace of innovation within the medtech sector. Johnson & Johnson's Q1 results indicate that these regulatory pressures affected the segment's bottom line. 

Overall, the medtech performance shows strength. The success of specific product lines highlights the company's focus on high-demand areas and its ability to deliver innovative solutions. However, the broader medtech industry continues to grapple with regulatory changes, which investors should monitor as a potential risk factor.

Johnson & Johnson's Q1 2024 results showcase the company's resilience in the face of economic and industry pressures. Positive revenue growth, strong pharmaceutical sales and improved margins demonstrate the company's ability to navigate challenges. Success in key medtech areas like oncology and cardiovascular devices highlights the ongoing demand for innovative solutions. Overall, Johnson & Johnson's Q1 report offers a cautiously optimistic signal for the industry, showcasing the potential for adaptability and success in a complex and volatile market sector.


Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.