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J&J Drops in Device Sales for 2019 Earnings

The New Brunswick, NJ-based company’s sales dipped a bit for its medical device unit but pharmaceutical earnings grew.

Image by PIX1861 on Pixabay

Johnson & Johnson is lagging when it comes down to device sales. The New Brunswick, NJ-based company shared earnings results that show medical device sales dipped about 3.8% from $26 billion to $25 billion for 2019.

However, the firm saw growth in its pharmaceutical sales, which were up 3.6% to $42.2 billion. Overall, J&J reported 2019 Full-Year Sales of $82.1 billion reflecting growth of 0.6%, operational growth of 2.8% and adjusted operational growth of 4.5%.

“We delivered strong underlying sales and earnings growth in 2019, driven by the strength of our Pharmaceutical business, accelerating performance in our Medical Devices business and improved profitability in our Consumer business,” Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of J&J said in a release. “As we enter into 2020 and this next decade, our strategic investments focused on advancing our pipelines and driving innovation across our entire product portfolio, position us well to deliver long-term sustainable growth and value to our shareholders.”

Shares of the company were down about 1% trading at $147.9 on Wednesday.

Historically, J&J’s device businesses have been up and down. In January of 2016, the healthcare giant restructured its medical device unit by slashing about 3,000 jobs. By March of 2016, activist investor Artisan Partners Limited Partnership began to pressure J&J into spinning off its medical device units.

By 2017, the company began a series of divestitures including selling its Codman Neurosurgery Business to Integra Lifesciences for $1.05 billion. And by 2018 J&J was making deals to divest its sterilization unit to Fortive for $2.7 billion. J&J also sold its LifeScan diabetes unit to Platinum Equity for $2.1 billion.

But to say J&J has been just focused on divesting some of its medtech assets wouldn’t be telling the whole story. The healthcare giant broke into its string of divestitures in 2018 with the acquisition of Emerging Implant Technologies Gmbh for an undisclosed sum.

Recently J&J has been on the M&A trail, especially in the medical robotics space.

One of the largest deals in medtech last year occurred when the company made a move to acquire Auris Health for $3.4 billion, and milestone payments of $2.35 billion. Redwood City, CA-based Auris Health develops robotic technologies that have been focused on lung cancer. The firm has the Monarch Platform, an FDA-cleared system currently used in bronchoscopic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

And late last year, the company struck a deal to buy Verily’s stake in the Verb Surgical Robotics joint venture.

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