J&J raises forecasts, estimates $2.5 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales


FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

July 21, 2021

(Reuters) -Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday raised its overall revenue estimate for the year and forecast $2.5 billion in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which has fallen way behind rival shots from Pfizer and Moderna as the company deals with vaccine production issues and safety concerns.

Although Johnson & Johnson’s shot was approved in the United States months after vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, its vaccine outlook pales in comparison with its peers and reflects the widening gap in the vaccine race.

Pfizer and Moderna forecast $26 billion and $19.2 billion in annual sales of their vaccines, respectively.

The J&J shot, once touted as an important tool for vaccinations in hard-to-reach areas, has already delayed deliveries in the United States and Europe. It has also been linked to a very rare, potentially life-threatening blood-clotting condition.

J&J raised its expectations for full-year sales to a range of $93.8 billion to $94.6 billion including contribution from the single-dose vaccine, and to $91.3 billion-$92.1 billion for the rest of the business.

It had previously forecast sales to come in between $90.6 billion and $91.6 billion.

The outlook was driven by recovery in sales at its medical devices unit and higher demand for treatments such as psoriasis and Crohn’s disease drug Stelara.

The company had recorded $164 million in vaccine sales in for the second quarter.

Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have forecast $26 billion and $19.2 billion in annual sales of their vaccines, respectively. Both shots were approved in the United States last year, while J&J’s vaccine was approved this year.

Both companies expect to profit from their vaccines, while Johnson & Johnson has said it will make the vaccine available on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.

In the second quarter, J&J earned $2.48 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.27 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company reported $23.31 billion in total sales, above the estimate of $22.21 billion.

Shares of the company rose 1% before the opening bell.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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