Johnson & Johnson Reports Sales Increases for Q4 and Full Year 2020, But Notes Weakness in Medical Devices Segment

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported Tuesday that its sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 increased 8.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, as weakness in its medical devices business segment (which includes contact lenses) dampened overall company sales results. J&J’s overall sales totaled $22.5 billion in the fourth quarter, and $82.6 billion for the full year 2020. On an operational growth basis, the sales increases were 7.1 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, in Q4 and the fiscal year, as gains across the pharmaceutical sector helped to offset other business categories.

Looking ahead, J&J said it expects adjusted operational sales growth of 8.8 percent in 2021, with adjusted operational earnings-per-share growth of 16.4 percent.

In the medical devices segment (including contact lenses), worldwide operational sales declined 10.5 percent. The decline was primarily driven by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated deferral of medical procedures related to the company’s surgery, orthopaedics and vision businesses, according to the announcement. The decline (which excludes acquisitions and divestitures) was partially offset by growth in the interventional solutions business led by electrophysiology products.

In addition, J&J said the results in this business segment “reflect market recovery in the second half of 2020.”

In terms of net earnings, J&J reported that earnings fell 56.7 percent to $1.738 billion in the fourth quarter, and dropped 2.7 percent to $14.714 billion for the full year. On a positive note, the company said it expects to report results from its Phase 3 trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine “soon.”

“Our notable full year performance reflects the continued confidence from patients, physicians, customers and consumers in our life-enhancing products and medicines, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” chairman and chief executive officer Alex Gorsky said in the announcement.

“I’m incredibly proud of our Johnson & Johnson teams around the world for going above and beyond to meet stakeholder needs. These efforts, and our commitment to families around the world as the largest broad-based health care company, enabled us to lead in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.

He added, “We continue to progress our COVID-19 vaccine candidate and look forward to sharing details from our Phase 3 study soon. Johnson & Johnson was built for times like these, and I am extremely confident in our ability to deliver lasting value and continued innovation in 2021 and for years to come.”

Within the J&J Vision business segment, sales totaled $397 million in the fourth quarter, a decline of 7.3 percent, and were down 13.2 percent for the full year 2020 to $1.557 billion.

The contact lens segment saw similar declines in the U.S. market, with sales falling 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter to $289 million. For the full year, contact lens sales in the U.S. market dropped 7.0 percent to $1.213 billion in 2020.

In the international contact lens segment, sales fell 4.1 percent (operational basis) to $507 million in the fourth quarter, but were down 14.4 percent (operational basis) to $1.781 billion for the full year.