Key Takeaways From Johnson & Johnson's Q2 Earnings Report

By Markets Fool.com

Pharmaceutical giantJohnson & Johnson(NYSE: JNJ) reported its second-quarter financials earlier this weekand resultsoutpaced industry watchers' forecast on both the top and the bottom line. After delivering solid second-quarter numbers, should investors be confident about thecompany's future?

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Analyst KristineHarjesis joined by contributor Todd Campbell to discuss Johnson & Johnson's results in this clip from The Motley Fool'sIndustry Focus: Healthcarepodcast.

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on July 19, 2016.

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ToddCampbell:J&J reported second-quarter sales and earnings that work better than industry watchers had hoped. They delivered $18.5 billion in sales, which is very solid, up about 4%. That's not great, but we're talking about big pharmaceutical companies here. Usually you're not going to see double-digit growth rates in Big Pharma. Four percent, that's fine. They had some currency headwinds that weighed that down just a little bit. But overall,I think it was a pretty solid report; it sort of sets the bar for upcoming reports that are coming out of the Big Pharma companies likePfizerin the coming weeks.

KristineHarjes:You mentioned currency. That's been a huge thing weighing on Johnson & Johnson's earningsback for a while now. Interestingly, the currency hit was just 1.4%, which is less than half the impacts from the second quarter one year ago in 2015. They're hoping this won't be damaging them quite as much, but it remains to be seen. You can't predict these kinds of things. But again, that long-term Foolish investing, we're not looking to predict currency headwinds. That's why you really do want to look at operational growth. If you look at their operational growth, it looks really good, particularly in pharmaceuticals, operational increase of 9.7%. That's pretty darn good.

Campbell:Yeah, that was all domestic, too, all U.S. I think the U.S. pharmaceutical business grew about 13% year-over-year. The other thing investors should recognize is that's occurring even as it's losing out on sales from its once-popular hepatitis C drug, Olysio, which has lost market share as new drugs have come on the market. So it's overcoming that headwind and still being able to growdouble digits here domestically.

Harjes:Some of the drugs to keep an eye on: You've got Imbruvica, Darzalex, Invokana, Stelara. There are actually a ton of irons in the fire here, and all of these drugs posted pretty solid growth.

Campbell:Yeah. There are a few I like to watch, I'm keeping my eye on quarter after quarter for Johnson & Johnson. Just to let investors know what's happening with those. Imbruvica's one of them. In Q1, sales had jumped 125% to $261 million. In Q2, they grew about 92% to $295 million. No one's going to fault them on that, but maybe we have to start looking at it and saying, "We've reached a certain level where we can't expect sales to continuously double year over year for this cancer agent." Still, very good. We see it at a $1.2, 1.3 billion run rate.I was also very interested in seeing whether or not they would report individual sales for Darzalex, that's their multiple myeloma drug that got approved last year. They did not break out those sales yet. They did say sales are growing, we just don't know by how much yet.

Harjes:And that they're expecting additional indications on that one.

Campbell:Yeah. What'll be interesting, too, is, it was the same situation a few years ago when they came out with Invokana. They didn't break those sales out until they became much more meaningful. You look at that truck, Invokana, they now have sales that are -- I think it's a $1.6 billion annualized run rate for that type 2 diabetes drug. Just the fact that they're not breaking out Darzalex yet, investors shouldn't draw any major conclusions from that. But you will want to watch, quarter after quarter, just to see whether that's winning away some share in the pre-traded multiple myeloma market.

Harjes:Exactly. One more thing to keep an eye on going forward is the upcoming biosimilar impact onRemicade.

Campbell:Yeah. That's key. We have some fast-growing drugs at J&J like Stelara, a psoriasis drug that's growing very quickly. They have Zytiga, which is a multibillion-dollar prostate cancer drug, which is very strong. They've gotXarelto, which is an anticoagulant, the sales are very strong. So you have things that can overcome the headwinds to Remicade. But Remicade is a $1.8 billion-per-quarter drug.

Harjes:Just per quarter! That's incredible. That's a really big drug right there.

Campbell:Yeah. You need a lot of these drugs to do very well to insulate Remicade from the risk when Pfizer finally does launch their approved Remicade biosimilar. That's supposed to happensome timein the next six months.

Harjes:Yeah. They do say the biosimilar competition is not built into their guidance right now, andthat's understandable, because the drug was just improved in April -- the biosimilar, that is -- and it won't launch until later this year. But going forward, 2017 for sure, this is going to be something that Johnson & Johnson will have to overcome.

Campbell:Right. And for investors trying to figure out how to plan for that, overseas where biosimilar drugs have been approved previously and been around longer, it's won about 30% market share. Bear that in mind. We have about a $6 billion drug, 30% market share, $1.8 billion potential headwind. Then, you figure, over time, as doctors get more comfortable with those biosimilars, you'll probably see the market-share percentage climb for those drugs. It's important enough that investors should be tracking that and seeing how they're offsetting it.

Kristine Harjes owns shares of Johnson and Johnson. Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Johnson and Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.