Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Oct 13, 2020 • 08:30 am ET

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

Sure. [Operator Instructions] And your first question comes from David Lewis with Morgan Stanley.

Analyst
David Lewis

Good morning. Thanks for taking the question. Mathai, maybe I'll start with you just as we finished with you. Is there a realistic time frame for us to learn if the adverse event was in the treatment of placebo arm? Any sense right now if the AE was neurological in nature?

Executive
Mathai Mammen

So we know very little information right now. We've given our information that we do know to the DSMB, and they've asked a number of specific questions. We don't know whether -- they haven't informed us. They are -- they have the right to unblind. We are still blinded. So we don't know treatment arm vaccine [Indecipherable]. We know very little at this point. And it will be a few days at minimum for the right set of information to be gathered and evaluated.

Analyst
David Lewis

Okay. Very helpful. And I'll just ask my other two questions right upfront, maybe one for Ashley and one for Joe? Ashley, just [Indecipherable] commentary for September, which suggested improvement, but some arresting of improvement in the month of September. As I think about the guidance range at the top end, you basically get to do the top end of your range for the fourth quarter to show improvement in the fourth quarter. So, what is your confidence in delivering the top end of the range, and what are some of the factors in the fourth quarter that could impact the ability to show sequential improvement?

And then for Joe, just quickly on Pharma, thanks for the outlook for '21. Pharma has accelerated the entire year on both a reported /underlying basis, obviously above market next year. Can Pharma accelerate in '21? Thanks so much.

Executive
Ashley McEvoy

So thanks for the question, David. Maybe, I will start with really -- obviously, we ended Q3 down 3%. As Joe mentioned, our expectations for quarter four, they are really in line with the range communicated in July. We've tightened a little bit of it to make it from flat to down 10%. And just as a reminder, this is a guide versus what we originally communicated in the beginning of the year in January of our plan. So if you look at this, it means that our range for quarter four could be consistent with the results we delivered in quarter three, a kind of one book end to then delivering some modest growth versus 2019 last year. And things that we're considering -- I do think that we are confident in how hospitals are managing through the surges. We are paying close attention to patient sentiment and affordability.

And at J&J, I believe, Chris mentioned, we did have -- we are bleeding through some inventory that we procured shrewdly in the beginning of the year for China, and we will be also adjusting from, as Chris mentioned, coming off of last year the Japan consumption tax. So those are two things to consider, one from