Pharmaceuticals are mixed in mid-day trading as two major firms reported earnings in pre-market hours.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reported earnings of $1.02 per share, beating estimates of $0.97 and Novartis (NYSE:NVS) reported earnings of $1.26, beating estimates of $1.19.
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), the biopharmaceutical company, is set to have its earnings conference call at 4:30 pm EST. Wall Street is expecting earnings of $0.85 per share for its fourth fiscal quarter, which is up from the $0.60 figure it reported in the same quarter in 2008.
Johnson & Johnson, the largest pharmaceutical company by market capitalization, is down 0.85 percent at 12:44 p.m. EST. Novartis is up 1.72 percent and Gilead Sciences is down 1.79 percent. Merck (NYSE:MRK) is down 0.28 percent, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is currently up 0.16 percent for the day, and GlasoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) is up 1.01 percent.
Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical giant, reported stellar earnings and issued an optimistic outlook. Net revenue of $44.3 billion for the year is up 6.8 percent from last year and its quarterly revenue of $12.9 billion is up 28.3 percent year-on-year.
Novartis reported over 30 drug approvals for in 2009 and boasts “one of the industry’s most competitive pipelines with 145 projects in pharmaceutical clinical development.”
Novartis announced today a new chief executive officer in Joe Jimenez. Jimenez has been the head of pharmaceuticals division since 2007. He will replace current CEO Daniel Vasella on February 1. Vasella, who was CEO for 14 years, will remain as the chairman.
Johnson & Johnson reported quarterly revenues of $16.6 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year. Sales were up in the consumer and medical devices division, but the U.S. pharmaceutical firm’s sales were down. It’s annual revenue of $61.9 billion is down 2.9 percent from 2008.
Pharmaceuticals have lagged the stock market recovery in the past 12 months. The S&P 500 Index has gained 32 percent while Johnson & Johnson rose 11 percent, Novartis rose 18 percent, and GlaxoSmithKline was up 15 percent. Merck leads pharmaceuticals, gaining 38 percent in the last year.
Biotech firms fared worse than traditional pharmaceuticals. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), which reported earnings yesterday, rose 3 percent for the last 12 months while Gilead Sciences dropped 7 percent.