Johnson & Johnson Stock Jumps on Earnings Beat

The company pulled its full-year guidance, though

Deputy Editor
Apr 14, 2020 at 10:06 AM
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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is up 3.4% to trade at $144.46 this morning, after the blue-chip reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of $2.30 per share on $20.7 billion in revenue, higher than Wall Street's estimated $2.00 per share on $19.5 billion. However, the major pharmaceutical name also cut its full-year forecast in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Looking ahead, the company noted it is still on track to start human testing for their COVID-19 vaccine in September, while CEO Alex Gorsky pointed out that "underlying fundamentals of medical device market remain intact."

JNJ has been rising on the charts since a three year low of $109.16 on March 23 -- recently toppling its 80-day moving average. The equity is up 10.2% in April now, but remains stymied by its year-to-date breakeven level today.

There haven't been any bull notes coming down the pike today, but that's because analysts had been quite bullish coming into today already. Of the 16 brokerages in coverage, 12 are sporting a "buy" or "strong buy," and the remaining four considering a lukewarm "hold." Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $155.41 is an 11.2% premium to current levels. 

Optimistic sentiment echoes among short sellers, with short interest down 17.4% in the last reporting period to make up 16.79 million shares. This accounts for only 0.6% of the stock's available float and would take one and a half days to cover, at the JNJ's average pace of trading. 

In the options pits, 2.08 calls have been bought for every put at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) in the last five weeks. This 50-day call/put volume ratio sits higher than 78% of readings from the past year, meaning the appetite for calls has been higher than usual. 


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