Johnson & Johnson
2019 revenue: $82.1 billion
2018 revenue: $81.6 billion
Headquarters: New Brunswick, New Jersey
The largest drug company worldwide by overall sales, Johnson & Johnson is a global healthcare behemoth spanning pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare and medical devices. But its pharma group has outperformed its other units for several years now, driven by sales expansions in oncology and immunology.
In all last year, J&J’s pharma sales grew 5.8% at constant currencies to $42.2 billion, outpacing 3% growth in consumer healthcare. Medical device sales slipped 1.7% to $29.63 billion.
Of course, within J&J's pharma group, there were standouts and laggards. Stelara—now J&J's top med by sales—grew 25% to reach $6.3 billion, a megablockbuster by any definition. The immunology med Tremfya, blood cancer therapy Darzalex and diabetes fighter Imbruvica each posted strong growth.
The prostate cancer drug Zytiga, however, wasn't so fortunate, thanks to generic competition. And Remicade, which saw its first biosimilar in 2018, took a hit from several copycat rivals.
Expect more generic erosion this year, too: When executives reported their full-year results for 2019, they warned pharma watchers that 2020 wouldn't be exempt from that trend.
Along with its outsized sales, J&J has some legal problems to match. Its massive, years-long talc battle made headlines consistently through 2019, and a Risperdal lawsuit resulted in an $8 billion verdict that was quickly overturned.
The company also suffered an opioid trial loss in Oklahoma—worth $572 million—and made a multibillion-dollar settlement offer to resolve its opioid litigation nationwide. That deal forced the drugmaker to restate third-quarter earnings and report a $3 billion loss. J&J and other drug companies haven't yet finalized their opioid settlements.
In 2020, J&J executives expect sales of $85.8 billion to $86.6 billion, which would represent mid-single-digit percentage growth.
Like all drugmakers, J&J is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it remains to be seen just how much the crisis will affect operations and performance for the company and its peers.
The halt in elective procedures like hip replacements could take a bite out of its devices sales, and it's committed to sink hundreds of millions into a potential vaccine that may never come to fruition—but, if successful, could help the company's top line and play a role in getting the rest of the world back to business.