Johnson & Johnson posts strong third quarter earnings after pause in coronavirus vaccine study

J&J exec on coronavirus vaccine study pause: Will let science dictate how we proceed

Johnson & Johnson CFO and Executive Vice President Joe Wolk on the coronavirus vaccine study being paused due to an adverse reaction by a participant, earnings, and the supply chain.

Johnson & Johnson reported a strong third-quarter performance on Tuesday following an announcement that it is pausing its coronavirus vaccine research study.

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While the stock fell Tuesday on the news that the 60,000-patient clinical trial was temporarily halted, the drug maker’s worldwide sales from July to September jumped 1.7% to $21.1 billion. Its adjusted earnings per share rose 3.8% to $2.20.


Johnson & Johnson CFO Joe Wolk told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria” on Tuesday that “all three segments performed extremely well especially considering the pandemic dynamics.”

The company’s consumer health sales rose 1.3% to $3.5 billion, while pharmaceutical sales jumped 5% to $11.4 billion.

The drug maker posted stronger than expected third quarter earnings following an announcement that it paused its coronavirus vaccine research study after a participant came down with an unexplained illness. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Wolk said medical device sales impacted earnings the most. The segment was down almost 35% in the second quarter. But as elective procedures returned, sales fell 3.6% to $6.2 billion in the third quarter.

“I also have to give a tremendous amount of credit to the hospital systems out there,” Wolk said. “They are making patients feel safe. They can run their hospital systems in a manner that treats all patients and not just shut down for the potential to treat COVID patients.”

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON148.51-3.33-2.19%

However, the stock still slid nearly 2% early Tuesday after one participant in the company’s coronavirus vaccine study came down with an unexplained illness and forced the study to be paused.

Wolk said that “unexpected, adverse effects” in a 60,000-patient study should be expected to some degree. He added that this new information will be analyzed by an independent board before the study can resume, but the company remains confident in its safety.


“We have not altered our investment plans in terms of expanding our manufacturing capacity,” Wolk said. “We’re still on the timeline for first quarter next year for potential approval. And we’re going to let the science dictate how we proceed.”

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