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Dow Jones Slumps as Johnson & Johnson Boosts Outlook, Apple and Cisco Stocks Head Lower

By Timothy Green – Updated Jul 16, 2020 at 11:45AM

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J&J raised its outlook despite a big sales hit due to the pandemic, and the two tech giants underperformed the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -1.71%) had posted a modest decline by late Thursday morning, down about 0.3% at 11:10 a.m. EDT. Economic news was mixed: Retail sales jumped 7.5% in June, beating expectations, but another 1.3 million Americans filed for state unemployment benefits last week. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious problem in many U.S. states, including Texas and Florida.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.71%) reported results that beat analyst estimates and raised its full-year outlook, but that wasn't enough to prevent the stock from slumping. Shares of tech giants Apple (AAPL -3.00%) and Cisco (CSCO -1.41%) were also lower as analysts updated their views on the stocks.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Johnson & Johnson beats expectations

Sales were down and profits plunged in Johnson & Johnson's second quarter, but the company's numbers came in ahead of analyst estimates. Revenue was $18.3 billion, down 10.8% year over year, but $610 million higher than analysts were expecting. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.67 were down 35%, but $0.16 better than the average analyst estimate.

The medical devices segment was the worst performer, with sales of $4.3 billion down nearly 34% from the prior-year period. The company blamed the deferral of medical procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the weak results.

The consumer health segment suffered a 7% revenue decline to $3.3 billion, with weakness in skin health, beauty care, women's healthcare, and international baby care products partly offset by growth in over-the-counter medications and oral care products. The pharmaceutical segment saw 2.1% sales growth to $10.8 billion.

While Johnson & Johnson's sales are being hit hard by the pandemic, the company raised its full-year guidance. It now expects sales to be down between 0.8% and 2.6%, an improvement over previous guidance calling for a 2% to 5.5% decline. The company also boosted its outlook for adjusted EPS from a range of $7.50 to $7.90 to a range of $7.75 to $7.95.

Despite the estimate-beating numbers, shares of Johnson & Johnson were down about 0.4% in the morning. The stock is less than 6% below its 52-week high.

Apple upgraded; Cisco downgraded

Shares of Apple and Cisco were down on Thursday as analysts staked out positions on both stocks. Apple had slumped around 1.6% by late morning, while Cisco was down roughly 2%.

Canaccord Genuity boosted its Apple price target from $310 to $444, a big jump premised upon the company's 5G and services opportunities. Canaccord expects the launch of 5G iPhones to help Apple's numbers in 2021, with a growing installed base driving sales of services and other devices. The analyst sees the services business growing faster than the company as a whole.

Analysts at JPMorgan were less optimistic on Cisco. The bank downgraded the networking hardware stock from overweight (a buy) to neutral, citing an uncertain economy and the possibility of a higher corporate tax rate following elections this year leading to a pullback in IT spending. Cisco's large enterprise and government customers are prone to pull back on spending when the economic outlook is cloudy, which can lead to a slump in revenue for the tech giant.

Apple stock carved out a new all-time high earlier this month, but shares have dipped a bit since then, down about 3.7% from the peak. Cisco stock has fallen further, sitting about 22% below its 52-week high.

Timothy Green owns shares of Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$138.20 (-3.00%) $-4.28
Cisco Systems, Inc. Stock Quote
Cisco Systems, Inc.
$40.00 (-1.41%) $0.57
Johnson & Johnson Stock Quote
Johnson & Johnson
$163.36 (-0.71%) $-1.17
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$28,725.51 (-1.71%) $-500.10

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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