Johnson & Johnson earnings beat expectations despite legal hurdles

The company is facing thousands of lawsuits over talc and opioid products.

Photo credit: Getty images
Photo credit: Getty images

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ: Johnson & Johnson posted $20.73 billion in revenue in Q3, a year-over-year increase of 1.9% that beat analysts’ expectations as the company faces tens of thousands of lawsuits.

Analysts had predicted that the maker of Tylenol would earn $20.07 billion in Q3. Growth came from its consumer and pharmaceutical business, with pharma, which comprises about half of J&J’s revenue, growing by 5.1% to nearly $10.88 billion and consumer up 1.6% to nearly $3.47 billion. 

Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 100,000 lawsuits over talc-based baby powder and opioids. It is appealing a Philadelphia jury verdict ordering the company to pay $8 billion to a man who claimed he suffered from abnormal breast enlargement due to his use of the company’s antipsychotic Risperdal. In August, a judge in Oklahoma ordered J&J to pay $572 million for its marketing of opioids, a much smaller amount than the $17 billion the state sought. 

J&J is also appealing a 2018 St. Louis jury verdict ordering it to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women and their families who said its baby-powder product causes ovarian cancer. The company began an aggressive crisis communications strategy in response to the claims. 

A global case study from Alva found that the pharma company’s reputation has dropped steadily from ninth place in 2014 to 57th out of 58 companies in its latest rankings.

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