Johnson & Johnson Stock Hits Post-Earnings Record High

The company announced a dividend hike of 6.6%, too

Digital Content Manager
Apr 19, 2022 at 10:32 AM
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At the top of the Dow this morning sits Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), last seen up 3.8% at $184.44, after earlier hitting an all-time high of $184.81. The stock is erasing premarket losses on better-than-expected first-quarter earnings results. While the pharmaceutical giant also reported a revenue miss and suspended sales guidance of its Covid-19 vaccine amid a global supply surplus, it did announce a dividend hike of 6.6%.

JNJ is now pacing for a record closing high as well, after bouncing off support at its 30-day moving yesterday. The equity has been tearing up the charts since late February, after hitting a familiar floor at the $156 level. Year-over-year, JNJ is now up 13.7%.

Though analysts are already mostly optimistic towards Johnson & Johnson stock, there is still room for upgrades and/or price-target hikes. Of the 11 in coverage, six firms called the security a tepid "hold," while the 12-month consensus target price of $188.32 is only a 1.5% premium to current levels.

At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), JNJ's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.88 ranks higher than 94% of readings from the past 12 months. So while calls still outnumber puts on an absolute basis, this high ratio suggests long puts have been picked up at a much quicker-than-usual pace. Should some of this pessimism start to unwind, Johnson & Johnson stock could surge higher still. 

Call traders are already blasting the security today. So far, 22,000 calls and 13,000 puts have crossed the tape, which is eight times the volume that is typically seen at this point. Most popular are the 4/22 185- and 190-strike calls, where new positions are currently being opened.


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