Stockwatch: J&J And Novartis Fire Opening Salvos Of Earnings Season
Reports Differ In Outlook And Reception
J&J’s bullish outlook for 2021, robust fourth quarter and frequent guidance revisions in uncertain times contrasted with Novartis’s reticence.
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Depending on the therapeutic area, a fall in pharmaceutical sales was an obvious effect of the pandemic, although lower selling and marketing expenses and fewer non-COVID-19 infections were minor positives.
Roche’s full-year 2020 results suggested that it had seen better days. By contrast, the turnaround narrative at AstraZeneca suggested that its worst days were behind it.
Lilly’s fourth-quarter results included windfalls, not just from the pandemic but from seasonal wholesaler buying patterns that were intensified by the pandemic and raise a high bar for subsequent quarters.