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Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue with sales of its Covid-19 vaccine lower than Wall Street estimates after a string of production setbacks.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company reporting $766m in sales of the shot in the first nine months of 2021 and maintained its 2021 revenue goal of $2.5bn from the vaccine — meaning that sales will have to more than triple in the fourth quarter to meet its forecast.

“We’re still very much committed to the $2.5bn of revenue and the supply that is correlated to that,” CFO Joseph Wolk told investors on a conference call.

The drugmaker earlier this year experienced quality problems at a Baltimore facility that produces the single-dose vaccine, resulting in the wastage of millions of doses.

The J&J shot, once touted an as important tool for vaccinating hard-to-reach areas, is behind its schedule for deliveries in the US and Europe.

The vaccine has the lowest uptake in the US at a time when rivals Moderna and Pfizer are signing up supply deals for booster doses in 2022 and beyond.

“It’s hard to say whether J&J will meet that target, but with the booster guidance coming out soon, that could provide a push to the fourth quarter,” Edwards Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans told Reuters.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to authorise a booster dose of the J&J vaccine, with a decision expected in days.

J&J’s shares rose almost 2% in morning trade, reversing a pre-market fall, as the company raised its overall adjusted profit forecast and beat earnings estimates.

Sales in its medical devices unit rose 8% to $6.64bn but missed analyst estimates of $6.87bn, hurt by a resurgence in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

Excluding items, J&J earned $2.60 per share, beating expectations of $2.35 per share, according to Refinitv data.

J&J lifted its 2021 forecast for adjusted earnings per share to between $9.77 and $9.82, from its prior estimates of $9.60 to $9.70.

Overall sales of $23.34bn missed expectations of $23.72bn. Covid-19 vaccine sales of $502m missed estimates of $815m, according to FactSet.



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