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UPDATE: J&J Q4'19 earnings down 6.4% YOY

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UPDATE: J&J Q4'19 earnings down 6.4% YOY

Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest healthcare company by market value, reported a fourth-quarter 2019 earnings decrease of 6.4% year over year while also announcing guidance for 2020.

The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company booked fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted net earnings of $5.03 billion, or $1.88 per share, down from $5.37 billion, or $1.97 per share, a year earlier.

That compares to the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of $1.87 for the quarter.

Sales for the quarter totaled $20.75 billion, a 1.7% increase from $20.39 billion, in the year-ago period. Research and development expenses for the period rose 0.2% to $3.23 billion from $3.22 billion in 2018.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $4.01 billion, or $1.50 per share, up 31.8% from $3.04 billion, or $1.12 per share, in the previous year.

Full-year 2019 results and 2020 guidance

For full year 2019, the pharmaceutical giant reported adjusted net earnings of $23.31 billion, or $8.68 per share, a 4.5% year-over-year increase from $22.32 billion, or $8.18 per share.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2019 was $8.67.

Sales for the year reached $82.06 billion, a 0.6% increase from $81.58 billion in 2018.

On a GAAP basis, J&J's 2019 net earnings came in at $15.12 billion, or $5.63 per share, down 1.2% from $15.30 billion, or $5.61 per share, a year earlier.

For its full-year 2020 outlook, the company estimates sales in the range of $85.4 billion to $86.2 billion, with adjusted EPS anticipated at between $8.95 and $9.10.