Janssen Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Allen J. Cockroaches | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
International sales of Covid vaccines added to the spark Johnson&JohnsonRevenue and profits were outperformed on Tuesday, but the company said it doesn’t expect sales from the shot going forward.
“Regarding our Covid-19 vaccine, we do not expect any significant sales beyond those recorded in the first quarter as our contractual obligations are fulfilled,” Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said during a conference call on Tuesday.
Those obligations include external production exit costs and clinical trial expenses, the consumer goods giant said in its first-quarter earnings release.
This marks the end of three difficult years for J&J’s Covid vaccine, despite being one of the first vaccines to hit the US market during the pandemic. The vaccine, originally billed as a single-dose therapy, has long been overshadowed by the slightly more potent shots of Pfizer And Modern due to a rare but serious risk of a blood clotting disorder.
J&J’s unpopular shot seemed to bear its final fruit Tuesday, contributing to $747 million in sales for the three months ended March 23. This led to strong growth in the company’s pharmaceuticals business, which reported a revenue increase of more than 4% compared to the same period last year.
Notably, all of its Covid vaccine revenue for the quarter came from outside the United States. It is unclear which countries contributed to the sales.
That number beat Wall Street analysts’ estimates.
Bank of America analyst Geoff Meacham had expected the shot to generate $150 million in revenue during the quarter. A forecast by Wells Fargo analysts “expected no Covid sales in the first quarter” but noted some contract promise revenue could “come through”.
After J&J reported the earnings, SVB Securities analyst David Risinger also noted that sales of the vaccine beat a consensus estimate by more than $500 million. JP Morgan analyst Chris Schott added that J&J’s first-quarter hit was partly “bumped up by the Covid vaccine.”
First-quarter sales of the Covid vaccine are also up from the $544 million it raked in in J&J’s most recent quarter and the $457 million the company reported a year ago.
The last time J&J reported U.S. sales of the vaccine was in the second quarter of 2022, which ended weeks after a decision by the Food and Drug Administration that severely restricted who can get the vaccine. The agency said the vaccine could only be given to adults who specifically request it or who cannot get another vaccination, indicating the risk of blood clots.
Earlier this year, the drugmaker also announced that it had scaled back production of the shot amid slumping demand.
While J&J’s vaccine fell out of favor in the US and other wealthy countries, developing countries continue to rely on it. As a one-time injection, the vaccine is less expensive and easier to distribute to hard-to-reach populations.