J&J shares rise after raising dividend, but cutting 2020 earnings outlook over coronavirus outbreak

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A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Johnson & Johnson shares rose by more than 3% Tuesday in premarket trading after the U.S. drugmaker raised its quarterly dividend even as it cut full-year earnings guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak.

J&J raised its dividend from 95 cents a share to $1.01, a 6.3% increase. The company lowered its 2020 adjusted earnings forecast to between $7.50 and $7.90 earnings per share, from its prior estimate of between $8.95 and $9.10 a share.

The company beat Wall Street’s earnings and revenue expectations. On an adjusted basis, J&J  reported $2.30 per share during the first three months of the year, higher than the $2 a share expected by Refinitiv analysts. It generated $20.7 billion in revenue, higher than the $19.47 billion expected.

Sales in J&J’s medical device unit fell by 8.2% to $5.9 billion during the quarter as the Covid-19 outbreak forced hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and some patients to cancel appointments while keeping millions of Americans homebound.

J&J’s pharmaceutical business posted revenue of $11.13 billion, an 8.7% increase year over year. The company’s consumer unit, which makes beauty products such as Neutrogena, generated $3.6 billion in revenue, up 9.2% from a year earlier.

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