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Q3 Earnings Roundup for Pharmaceutical Stocks

Last quarter's results remind us no two pharmaceutical stocks are the same

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A couple of other key pharmaceutical stocks released their third quarter numbers early on in the current earnings season: Baxter International (BAX), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). While both are waist-deep in non-pharma businesses, they’re still worth a close look through the same pharmaceutical lens.

Baxter International

Last quarter, BAX earned $1.19 per share in operating income, meeting estimates, and topping the $1.14 earned in Q3 2012. Revenues grew by 9%, thanks largely to the acquisition of Gambro — a deal that BAX completed during the quarter to help it compete against the other pharmaceutical stocks on this list.

What investors need to know: Although overall sales were up for BAX due to strong sales of its hemophilia treatment Advate (one of its best-selling drugs); the hemophilia division accounts for about 22% of total revenue. Those sales are in jeopardy now that Biogen Idec (BIIB) has filed for approval of two hemophilia treatments of its own. The FDA should have a decision on those two Biogen drugs in the first half of the coming year.

Johnson & Johnson

JNJ posted a profit of $1.35 per share, topping the year-ago figure of $1.25 and beating estimates of $1.32. Revenue grew by 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. While those results may be tepid in comparison to other pharmaceutical stocks, considering JNJ is the world’s largest healthcare company, the revenue and earnings improvements are impressive.

What investors need to know: Sales of newly-launched drugs (or drugs approved for new indications) are driving the lion’s share of the growth for JNJ. Sales of cancer drug Zytiga, for instance, were up 75% compared to the year-ago total, and Xarelto sales almost tripled last quarter compared to the Q3-2012 figure. Meanwhile, the consumer products and medical device divisions at JNJ are hitting a wall, showing little to no growth in the third quarter.

As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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