Talk about bad timing. Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson's drug-eluting stents get a lot of attention, probably because of the fierce four-way competition with Boston Scientific
The company has already received more than a dozen approvals from regulatory agencies this year and expects to make 80 requests to approve medical devices over the next two years.
Given the growth, investors should focus on medical devices, but it's a little difficult to pinpoint exactly where the growth is coming from because the divisions sell so many products that presumably don't register high sales individually. In the first quarter, for instance, Johnson & Johnson broke out sales for 12 different drugs, but lumped all the medical-device sales into their respective franchises. The only sales that were broken out were the drug-eluting stents, which slipped substantially.
Johnson & Johnson hopes its new drug-eluting stent, Nevo, will breathe new life into the Cordis franchise, which saw year-over-year sales slip 3.3% last quarter at constant currencies. Johnson & Johnson has already filed for approval in Europe and will apply for approval in the U.S. and Japan, which usually require more data, by 2012.
Johnson & Johnson's movement in medical devices and diagnostics is headed in the right direction, but whether Johnson & Johnson is a buy depends a lot on how it handles its current drug problem. Unfortunately investors can't have one without the other.