Johnson & Johnson’s sales rose 7.3% to $21.4 billion during Q4 2023, according to its latest earnings report released Tuesday morning.

Looking at its top-line results, J&J achieved 7.2% operational growth (which grew to 10.9% when sales of its COVID-19 vaccine were excluded) as well as 5.7% adjusted operational growth.

J&J’s net earnings rose 28% year-over-year to $4.1 billion for the quarter. Its earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter rose 39.3% to $1.70, with its adjusted EPS increasing 11.7% to $2.29, slightly exceeding analyst expectations.

Meanwhile, for the full year, the healthcare giant reported sales growth of 6.5%, edging past $85.2 billion. However, the full year EPS dropped 15.3% due to a special one-time charge in Q1. Additionally, J&J’s net earnings dropped 18.6% to $13.3 billion for the year.

Still, J&J reaffirmed its financial guidance for the year, projecting sales growth between 5% to 6%, along with an adjusted operational EPS between $10.55 to $10.75.

By region, the U.S. continues to lead the way for generating sales, accounting for 11% of reported sales in Q4 along with 10.6% of sales for the full year. By segment, MedTech led the way with 13.3% of reported sales in Q4 and 10.8% of reported sales for 2023.

“Johnson & Johnson’s full year 2023 results reflect the breadth and competitiveness of our business and our relentless focus on delivering for patients,” J&J CEO Joaquin Duato said in a statement. “We have entered 2024 from a position of strength, and I am confident in our ability to lead the next wave of health innovation.”

J&J’s earnings were released during a busy time for the company.

In addition to its earnings report release, J&J announced that it reached a tentative agreement with 42 states and Washington, D.C. to resolve investigations into whether the company misled consumers about the safety of its talc-based products. 

The company has been the subject of thousands of lawsuits alleging that contamination of its talc-based baby powder with asbestos caused cancer. 

“Consistent with the plan we outlined last year, the company continues to pursue several paths to achieve a comprehensive and final resolution of the talc litigation,” Erik Haas, J&J’s worldwide VP of litigation, said in a statement to Reuters.

Additionally, the drugmaker is engaged in a standoff with Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.). In his role as the chair of the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sanders has publicly proposed issuing a subpoena for Duato, Merck CEO Robert Davis and Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Chris Boerner to testify at a hearing on the high costs of prescription drugs.

The hearing was supposed to be held on Thursday, but only Boerner agreed to testify and only if at least one other CEO participated.

Late last week, the FDA also granted full approval of the company’s Balversa for treating locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer with select genetic alterations.

For an April 2024 article on J&J scooping up cardio medtech Shockwave Medical for $13.1B, click here.

For an April 2024 article on J&J notches Q1 2024 quarterly sales growth, click here.