Product News and Recalls

J&J earnings higher than expected for 4th quarter

Johnson & Johnson’s earnings for the fourth quarter were better than expected, despite $800 million in expenses related to the company’s recall of its all-metal hip implant.

According to a story in Reuters, the company earned $1.19 per share, excluding one-time items, in the fourth quarter. That beat analysts’ average estimate of $1.17.

The story says the company faces about 2,000 lawsuits related to the “metal-on-metal” hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics.

Those implants feature both a ball and socket coated in a mixture of cobalt and chromium. They were originally developed to be more durable than traditional models that feature plastic or ceramic components, but have failed at a high rate.

Among the reported problems is their tendency to shed metal debris, with debilitating results for patients who’ve had them implanted. Before Johnson & Johnson recalled its all-metal hips in 2010, it was the largest manufacturer of that model.

The Reuters story says Johnson & Johnson’s fourth quarter earnings are due in part to strong growth in sales of the company’s traditional artificial hips and artificial knees, whose combined U.S. sales rose 7 percent. A favorable tax rate contributed as well.

The company also announced that it’s considering selling its $2 billion-a-year Ortho Clinical Diagnostics business, or turning it into a stand-alone company.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the story here: