2 Healthcare Giants Making Moves Before Earnings

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.21 per share, a decline of 1.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.23. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from $1.22 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $4.96 per share, a rise of 4.2% from last year.

The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 4 cents, reporting net income of $1.28 per share against a mean estimate of profit of $1.24. In the first quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by 10 cents with net income of $1.35 versus a mean estimate of profit of $1.25. Analysts are projecting a rise of 7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $16.03 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK), Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS), Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX), and Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN).

Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 98 cents per share, a decline of 2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 95 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 98 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $3.73 per share, a decline of 15.4% from last year.

Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 8 cents, coming in at profit of $1.04 a share versus the estimate of net income of 96 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates. On average, analysts predict $1.16 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 6.4% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.5 billion for the year, a rise of 1.8% from last year’s revenue of $4.42 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN), Lannett Company, Inc. (AMEX:LCI), Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE:WPI), Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Impax Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:IPXL), Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PRX), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAZZ).