Lazard Asset Management LLC Reduces Holding in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

Lazard Asset Management LLC cut its position in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ – Get Rating) 3.2% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm held 9,493,671 shares of the company’s stock after selling 312,661 shares during the period. Johnson & Johnson accounts for about 2.3% of Lazard Asset Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its third-largest holding. Lazard Asset Management LLC’s holding in Johnson & Johnson was $1,685,219,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Taylor & Morgan Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Johnson & Johnson by 1.6% in the second quarter. Taylor & Morgan Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,580 shares of the company’s stock valued at $635,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. Circle Wealth Management LLC boosted its holding in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 0.5% during the first quarter. Circle Wealth Management LLC now owns 11,326 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,007,000 after buying an additional 59 shares during the last quarter. Argus Investors Counsel Inc. boosted its position in Johnson & Johnson shares to 0.6% in the second quarter. After buying an additional 61 shares last quarter, Argus Investors Council Inc. now owns 10,936 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,941,000. Alta Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Johnson & Johnson by 0.4% during the second quarter. Alta Capital Management LLC now owns 15,824 shares of the company worth $2,808,000 after buying an additional 61 shares during the last quarter. Finally, One Charles Private Wealth Services LLC boosted its stake in Johnson & Johnson by 1.5% in the first quarter. Van Charles Private Wealth Services LLC now owns 4,134 shares of the company’s stock valued at $733,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the last quarter. 68.59% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Johnson & Johnson stock up 0.8%

Shares of Johnson & Johnson opened Friday at $176.20. The 50-day moving average price of the business is $167.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $171.40. The company has a quick ratio of 1.18, current ratio of 1.43 and debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The firm has a market cap of $460.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.44, and a beta of 0.57. Johnson & Johnson’s 52 week low is $155.72 and its 52 week high is $186.69.

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ – GET Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 18. The company reported EPS of $2.55 for the quarter, which topped analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.49 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $23.79 billion for the quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates of $23.44 billion. Johnson & Johnson had a net margin of 19.95% and a return on equity of 35.37%. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-on-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.60 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts estimate Johnson & Johnson will earn $10.04 earnings per share for the current year.

Johnson & Johnson announced that its board of directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, September 14 that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy back up to 1.2% of its shares through open market purchases. A share repurchase program is usually a sign that a company’s board of directors believes its stock is not undervalued.

Johnson & Johnson declares dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 6th. A dividend of $1.13 will be paid to shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 22nd. The ex-dividend date for this dividend is Monday, November 21. This represents a $4.52 dividend and a dividend yield of 2.57% on an annualized basis. The Dividend Payout Ratio (DPR) of Johnson & Johnson currently stands at 62.95%.

Insider Trading at Johnson & Johnson

In related news, EVP Katherine E. Wengel sold 16,410 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 9. The stock was sold at an average price of $173.42 for a total value of $2,845,822.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 71,311 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,366,753.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other Johnson & Johnson news, EVP Katherine E. Wengel sold 16,410 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 9. The shares were sold at an average price of $173.42, for a total transaction of $2,845,822.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 71,311 shares in the company, valued at $12,366,753.62. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be accessed via this hyperlink. In addition, VP Peter Fasolo sold 22,864 shares of Johnson & Johnson stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 19. The shares were sold at an average price of $164.50 for a total transaction of $3,761,128.00. Following the completion of the sale, the Vice President now holds 114,676 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,864,202. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 118,795 shares of company stock valued at $20,230,174 over the past ninety days. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Wall Street analysts weigh in

Several equity research analysts have recently commented on JNJ shares. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Johnson & Johnson in a research note on Thursday. He set a “neutral” rating and $170.00 price target on the stock. Bank of America cut its price target on shares of Johnson & Johnson from $185.00 to $178.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 14. Citigroup decreased its price objective on shares of Johnson & Johnson from $201.00 to $198.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 5. Barclays initiated coverage on Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Monday, October 17. He issued an “equal weight” rating and a target price of $175.00 on the stock. Finally, StockNews.com assumed coverage on Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Wednesday, October 12. They set a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Seven research analysts have a Hold rating on the stock, four have issued a Buy rating and one has issued a Strong Buy rating on the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “moderate buy” and a consensus price target of $181.33, according to data from Marketbeat.

Johnson & Johnson Company Profile

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Johnson & Johnson, together with its subsidiaries, researches and develops, manufactures and sells a variety of products in the healthcare sector around the world. The company’s Consumer Health segment offers baby care products under the Johnson’s and Aveeno Baby brands; oral care products under the Listerine brand; Skin health/beauty products under AVEENO, Clean & Clear, DR.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

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