Wall Street brokerages expect that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) will report earnings per share of $2.08 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three analysts have provided estimates for Johnson & Johnson’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $2.15 and the lowest is $1.96. Johnson & Johnson reported earnings of $2.06 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 1%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Tuesday, April 16th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Johnson & Johnson will report full-year earnings of $8.57 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.50 to $8.60. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $9.23 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $9.19 to $9.30. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 22nd. The company reported $1.97 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.95 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $20.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $20.27 billion. Johnson & Johnson had a net margin of 18.75% and a return on equity of 35.63%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.74 EPS.

A number of brokerages recently commented on JNJ. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Johnson & Johnson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $164.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, December 12th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Johnson & Johnson from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Johnson & Johnson from $139.00 to $147.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, February 25th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $152.00 price objective (down previously from $162.00) on shares of Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Monday, January 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $142.81.

In other news, Director Charles Prince acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 14th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $134.37 per share, for a total transaction of $268,740.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 28,520 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,832,232.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Johnson & Johnson during the fourth quarter valued at about $40,000. Crewe Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 75.0% during the fourth quarter. Crewe Advisors LLC now owns 350 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Horan Securities Inc. increased its position in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 122.3% during the fourth quarter. Horan Securities Inc. now owns 438 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,000 after buying an additional 241 shares during the period. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 20.7% during the fourth quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 466 shares of the company’s stock valued at $60,000 after buying an additional 80 shares during the period. Finally, Ruggie Capital Group boosted its stake in Johnson & Johnson by 342.5% during the fourth quarter. Ruggie Capital Group now owns 469 shares of the company’s stock worth $60,000 after acquiring an additional 363 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.56% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:JNJ traded down $1.39 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $138.02. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,701,737 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,208,329. The stock has a market cap of $373.41 billion, a PE ratio of 16.87, a PEG ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.68. Johnson & Johnson has a 1 year low of $118.62 and a 1 year high of $148.99. The company has a quick ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 1.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

Johnson & Johnson declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Monday, December 17th that permits the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 1.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 26th were given a $0.90 dividend. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 25th. Johnson & Johnson’s payout ratio is 44.01%.

About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson, together with its subsidiaries, researches and develops, manufactures, and sells various products in the health care field worldwide. It operates in three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices. The Consumer segment offers baby care products under the JOHNSON'S brand; oral care products under the LISTERINE brand; beauty products under the AVEENO, CLEAN & CLEAR, DABAO, JOHNSON'S Adult, LE PETITE MARSEILLAIS, NEUTROGENA, and OGX brands; over-the-counter medicines, including acetaminophen products under the TYLENOL brand; cold, flu, and allergy products under the SUDAFED brand; allergy products under the BENADRYL and ZYRTEC brands; ibuprofen products under the MOTRIN IB brand; and acid reflux products under the PEPCID brand.

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