Johnson & Johnson loses big in court
Shares of Johnson & Johnson dropped as much as 2.4%, then settled to close down 1.4% after a jury ordered the consumer goods giant to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who allege that its talc-based products, including baby powder, caused them to develop cancer.
Johnson & Johnson promptly responded, stating it was "deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process."
The company also vowed to appeal, noting that each previous verdict against Johnson & Johnson that has gone through the appeals process has been overturned.
"[T]he multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed," the company added.
Johnson & Johnson still faces roughly 9,000 talc cases in the courts, and continues to deny that its products cause cancer.
Cisco's new competition
Cisco stock tumbled 4.1% in the wake of The Information's report (may require subscription) that Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) cloud services division, Amazon Web Services, is weighing whether to enter the networking hardware market.
For Amazon, the move could offer a potentially attractive source of incremental growth from the estimated $14 billion global market for data-center switches. But given Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' mantra, "Your margin is my opportunity," it's hardly surprising that the networking hardware giant might plunge as investors worry over the prospect of the impending disruption of its core business.
Ingredion's unpalatable quarter
Finally, shares of Ingredion fell 10.2% following the food-ingredient provider's disappointing preliminary second-quarter results.
Due to a weaker-than-expected performance in North America, Ingredion anticipates second-quarter adjusted earnings per share in the range of $1.63 to $1.68. That's down from $1.89 per share in the same year-ago period, and far below the $1.92 per share most investors were modeling. As such, Ingredion now expects adjusted earnings for 2018 of $7.50 to $7.80, a reduction from its previous guidance for a range of $7.90 to $8.20.
Ingredion will also cease wet-milling operations at its Stockton, California, facility, and instead establish a shipping station at the facility by the end of this year to distribute finished products to customers in the Western United States. In addition, the company is accelerating its previously announced cost-reduction initiatives, with the goal of achieving $125 million in cost savings by the end of 2021.
"We're taking this necessary action to balance our capacity versus sweetener demand, focus future resource investment toward our specialty growth initiatives, and continue to deliver on our customer experience commitments," explained Ingredion CEO Jim Zallie.
This could be exactly what Ingredion needs to get its business back on track and resume creating value for shareholders, but given the weakness that precipitated the moves, it's unsurprising to see the stock pulling back in response.