Johnson & Johnson vaccine sales expected to hit US$3.5 billion

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that it expects to generate $3.5 billion from COVID-19 vaccine sales this year compared with $2.39 billion in 2021, in a sign of slowing ease production problems and growing demand.

Delivery delays and uneven demand last year caused the drugmaker to almost miss its goal of $2.5 billion in vaccine sales by 2021.

Shares of J&J fell nearly 2% before the opening bell as overall fourth-quarter sales also fell short of market expectations due to the dismal performance of several major revenue drivers such as: cancer drug Imbruvica and Crohn’s disease drug Stelara.

Donations from the coronavirus vaccine are expected to be a small part of J&J’s overall revenue as the company sells it at a nonprofit price.

However, rivals Pfizer and Moderna have already profited from their vaccine sales, predicting billions of dollars in revenue in 2021 and 2022. Moderna projects $18.5 billion in sales this year. 2022 from the sale of vaccines and Pfizer $29 billion.

Overall, J&J expects annual sales of $98.9 billion to $100.4 billion, well above expectations of $97.79 billion.

This is due to a jump in sales expectations for a COVID-19 vaccine, said JP Morgan analyst Chris Schott. The brokerage has projected revenue of US$1.5 billion by 2022.

J&J’s forecast comes at a time when the company is looking to spin off its consumer health unit and focus on its pharmaceutical and medical device businesses.

The equipment division has come under pressure as non-urgent procedures such as knee and hip replacement surgery were again delayed due to the Omicron variant.

J&J and AbbVie’s cancer drug Imbruvica sold $1.06 billion in sales, $1.17 billion below estimates.

Stelara’s $2.33 billion in revenue also missed the $2.45 billion estimate.

Overall revenue of $24.80 billion missed expectations of $25.29 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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