Johnson & Johnson yesterday raised its annual adjusted profit forecast, but stuck to its Covid-19 vaccine sales target of $2.5bn (€2.15bn) as it works its way through production challenges that have resulted in delays.
The drugmaker has faced quality problems at a Baltimore factory that produces the single-dose vaccine, resulting in wastage of millions of doses.
The vaccine has the lowest uptake in the US at a time when rivals Moderna Inc and Pfizer sign up supply deals for booster doses in 2022 and beyond.
The J&J shot, once touted an as important tool for vaccinating hard-to-reach areas, is behind its schedule for deliveries in the US and Europe.
Meanwhile, a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration on booster doses of the vaccine is pending.
Shares rose 1pc as the company’s third-quarter profit beat Wall Street expectations and it lifted 2021 forecast for adjusted earnings per share to between $9.77 and $9.82, from its prior estimates of $9.60 to $9.70.
Sales of its cancer and immune disease drugs helped the healthcare conglomerate report a 13.8pc rise in sales to roughly $13bn at its large pharmaceuticals unit. The Covid vaccine contributes only a fraction to sales.
Sales in its medical devices unit rose 8pc to $6.64bn in the third quarter, as a restart of non-urgent procedures helped soften the blow from weak demand for medical devices used in sports and spine procedures.
Excluding items, J&J earned $2.60 per share, beating expectations of $2.35 per share.