Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Sales in J&J’s domestic Pharma segment have decelerated this year as a number of key growth drivers like Remicade and Concerta are facing competition.  However, J&J is optimistic that sales growth will accelerate in 2H17. We believe that new drugs like Xarelto, Stelara, Darzalex, and Imbruvica remain the key to growth. Meanwhile, share buybacks and restructuring initiatives should provide bottom-line support. J&J is also making rapid progress with its pipeline and line extensions. The Actelion buy adds an attractive new therapeutic area – PAH – which should contribute to sales growth. J&J’s shares have outperformed the industry this year so far. However, headwinds like negative currency movement, generics, pricing pressure and soft global market conditions remain. Sluggish growth in the Consumer segment is also a concern. Meanwhile, HCV sales continue to decline in the face of intense competition. “

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on JNJ. BidaskClub raised Johnson & Johnson from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a buy rating and set a $128.00 price target on shares of Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. Atlantic Securities downgraded Johnson & Johnson from a neutral rating to an underweight rating and set a $113.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $145.00 target price (up previously from $140.00) on shares of Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Monday, September 25th. They issued a neutral rating and a $140.00 target price on the stock. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $135.52.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) opened at 130.01 on Wednesday. Johnson & Johnson has a one year low of $109.32 and a one year high of $137.08. The firm has a market cap of $348.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.00 and a beta of 0.79. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $132.79 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.43.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The company reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.79 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $18.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.94 billion. Johnson & Johnson had a return on equity of 26.76% and a net margin of 22.52%. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.74 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Johnson & Johnson will post $7.18 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 29th were paid a $0.84 dividend. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 25th. Johnson & Johnson’s payout ratio is 56.76%.

In related news, VP Dominic J. Caruso sold 82,591 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.72, for a total transaction of $11,291,841.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 226,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,993,466.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Paulus Stoffels sold 102,692 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.14, for a total value of $13,672,412.88. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 230,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,667,733.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Johnson & Johnson by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 200,450,985 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,517,661,000 after purchasing an additional 3,023,110 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Johnson & Johnson by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 174,073,764 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,028,219,000 after purchasing an additional 4,332,612 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in Johnson & Johnson by 4.3% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 160,223,321 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,955,806,000 after purchasing an additional 6,656,371 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in Johnson & Johnson by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 27,237,648 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,603,268,000 after purchasing an additional 1,509,745 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital World Investors raised its position in Johnson & Johnson by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 26,510,007 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,507,009,000 after purchasing an additional 1,050,000 shares during the last quarter. 65.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a holding company, which is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. It operates through three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices. Its primary focus is products related to human health and well-being.

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