J&J pharma sales slump as Novartis profit jumps

It's earnings time again. Today's numbers come from Novartis (profits up) and Johnson & Johnson (drug revenues down), plus Biogen Idec and Boehringer Ingelheim. Here are the highlights.

  • Novartis Q1 sales rose by 25 percent to $12.13 billion, boosted by new products and influenza vaccine. Net profits jumped by 49 percent to $2.9 billion thanks to the robust sales, as well as intensified productivity and cost improvement measures. Core EPS of came in "well ahead" of analyst estimates at $1.45. Release | Report | Report

  • Johnson & Johnson reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, with strong sales growth of medical devices offsetting revenue declines for its prescription drugs and tepid growth for its array of consumer products. Earnings were $4.53 billion, or $1.62 per share, on revenues of $15.63 billion. Release | Report

  • Biogen Idec saw quarterly profits drop by 11 percent on higher R&D costs; net income fell to $220 million, or 80 cents a share. Despite 32 percent growth in sales of its MS drug Tysabri to $219 million, revenue of $1.1 billion disappointed analysts. "The top line is where they didn't meet expectations," Soleil Securities analyst Gene Mack tells Bloomberg. Release | Report

  • Boehringer Ingelheim announced year-ending-March-31 results: Net sales grew by 9.7 percent to 12.7 billion euros ($16.17 billion) while profits increased to 2.2 billion euros ($2.96 billion). As the company notes, revenue growth came in three percentage points higher than worldwide pharma growth of 6.7 percent. It marks the 10th year Boehringer has outstripped global growth, making the company the fastest-growing among the 15 biggest drugmakers. But it's predicting flat sales for 2010 on patent losses. Release | Report

The quarterly reports have just begun, so stay tuned for more over the coming weeks.