Here’s What To Expect From Johnson & Johnson’s Q1

JNJ: Johnson & Johnson logo
Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson stock (NYSE: JNJ) will report its Q1 2024 results on Tuesday, April 16. We expect the company to post revenue of $21.5 billion and earnings of $2.68, compared to the consensus estimates of $21.4 billion and $2.64, respectively. J&J will likely benefit from higher MedTech sales amid a robust recovery in global procedure volumes. On the pharmaceuticals side, Darzalex, Stelara, and Tremfya should continue to lead the growth. So, what are some of the trends that are likely to drive J&J’s results?

Firstly, let us look at JNJ stock performance in recent years. JNJ stock has seen little change, moving slightly from levels of $155 in early January 2021 to around $150 now, vs. an increase of about 35% for the S&P 500 over this roughly three-year period. Overall, the performance of JNJ stock with respect to the index has been quite volatile. Returns for the stock were 9% in 2021, 3% in 2022, and -11% in 2023. In comparison, returns for the S&P 500 have been 27% in 2021, -19% in 2022, and 24% in 2023 — indicating that JNJ underperformed the S&P in 2021 and 2023.

In fact, consistently beating the S&P 500 — in good times and bad — has been difficult over recent years for individual stocks; for other heavyweights in the Health Care sector, including LLY, UNH, and MRK, and even for the megacap stars GOOG, TSLA, and MSFT. In contrast, the Trefis High Quality (HQ) Portfolio, with a collection of 30 stocks, has outperformed the S&P 500 each year over the same period. Why is that? As a group, HQ Portfolio stocks provided better returns with less risk versus the benchmark index; less of a roller-coaster ride, as evident in HQ Portfolio performance metrics.

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Given the current uncertain macroeconomic environment with high oil prices and elevated interest rates, could JNJ face a similar situation as it did in 2021 and 2023 and underperform the S&P over the next 12 months — or will it see a strong jump? From a valuation perspective, JNJ stock looks like it has ample room for growth. We estimate Johnson & Johnson’s valuation to be $180 per share, reflecting a 20% upside from its current price of around $150. Our forecast is based on a 17x P/E multiple for J&J and expected earnings of $10.70 on a per-share and adjusted basis for the full-year 2024. The 17x figure aligns with the stock’s average P/E over the last five years.

Coming to the latest quarter, J&J should continue to benefit from its multiple myeloma treatment – Darzalex and the autoimmune drug – Stelara – which have been the key growth drivers for the company’s pharmaceuticals business in the recent past. However, it should be noted that Stelara will start facing biosimilar competition later this year, weighing on the company’s 2025 pharmaceuticals sales growth. Some of the company’s new drugs, including Carvykti – a multiple myeloma treatment, and Spravato – an antidepressant – have been gaining market share, a trend expected to continue in the near term. On the MedTech side, J&J should benefit from an overall pickup in global procedure volume. Its recent acquisitions, including Abiomed in December 2022 and Laminar, in November 2023, will bolster the overall segment growth.

Looking at the previous quarter, Johnson & Johnson’s revenue of $21.4 billion was up 7% y-o-y. The company reported a 4% rise in Innovative Medicine (pharmaceuticals business) and a 13% growth for its MedTech (medical devices business). While Darzalex sales grew 22% to $2.6 billion, Stelara sales were up 15% to $2.8 billion in Q4. The company saw its adjusted net income margin contract by 120 bps y-o-y to 26%. Still, the company’s bottom line grew 11% to $2.29 on an adjusted basis, partly due to an 8% decline in shares outstanding.

Overall, we expect J&J to navigate well in Q1. While there are near-term headwinds for the company, primarily from Stelara’s biosimilar competition later this year, we think it’s already priced in, with JNJ stock down 6% year-to-date.

While JNJ stock looks like it can see higher levels, it is helpful to see how Johnson & Johnson’s Peers fare on metrics that matter. You will find other valuable comparisons for companies across industries at Peer Comparisons.

Returns Apr 2024
MTD [1]
YTD [1]
Total [2]
 JNJ Return -7% -6% 28%
 S&P 500 Return -2% 7% 129%
 Trefis Reinforced Value Portfolio -3% 3% 631%

[1] Returns as of 4/15/2024
[2] Cumulative total returns since the end of 2016

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