Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported lower-than- expected quarterly revenue after sales of its COVID-19 vaccine missed Wall Street estimates following a string of production setbacks.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company maintained its 2021 sales goal of $2.5 billion from the vaccine, and said it recorded $766 million in sales of the shot in the first nine months of 2021—which indicates that sales will have to more than triple in the fourth quarter to meet its forecast.
“We’re still very much committed to the $2.5 billion of revenue and the supply that is correlated to that,” Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk told investors on a conference call.
The drugmaker earlier this year experienced quality problems at a Baltimore manufacturing facility that produces the single-dose vaccine, resulting in wastage of millions of doses.
The J&J shot, once touted an as important tool for vaccinating hard-to-reach areas, is behind its schedule for deliveries in the United States and Europe.
The vaccine has the lowest uptake in the United States at a time when rivals Moderna Inc. and Pfizer are signing up supply deals for booster doses in 2022 and beyond.
“It’s hard to say if J&J will meet that target or not, but with the booster guidance coming out soon, that could provide a boost to the fourth quarter,” Edwards Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans told Reuters.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to authorize a booster dose of the J&J vaccine, with a decision expected in the coming days.
J&J’s shares rose nearly 2 percent in morning trade, reversing a premarket fall, as the company raised its overall adjusted profit forecast and beat earnings estimates.
Sales in its medical devices unit rose 8 percent to $6.64 billion but missed analyst estimates of $6.87 billion, hurt by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.
Excluding items, J&J earned $2.60 per share, beating expectations of $2.35 per share, according to Refinitv data.
J&J lifted its 2021 forecast for adjusted earnings per share to between $9.77 and $9.82, from its prior estimates of $9.60 to $9.70.
Overall sales of $23.34 billion missed expectations of $23.72 billion.
COVID-19 vaccine sales of $502 million missed estimates of $815 million, according to FactSet.
By Manas Mishra and Carl O’Donnell