2 Healthcare Stocks in Trading Spotlight Ahead of Earnings Reports

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.10 per share, a rise of 6.8% 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 $1.11. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.10 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 4.4% versus last year to $4.97.

Last quarter, the company reported net income of $1.24 per share versus a mean estimate of profit of. The company has beaten estimates for the past three quarters. Analysts are projecting a rise of 4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $16.27 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).

Quest Diagnostics, Inc. (NYSE:DGX) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.06 per share, a rise of 8.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 5.1% versus last year to $4.29.

The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported net income of $1.18 per share versus a mean estimate of $1.11. Two quarters ago, it reported profit of $1.12 per share. On average, analysts predict $1.86 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 2.2% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.49 billion for the year, a rise of 1.6% from last year’s revenue of $7.37 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Laboratory Corp. of America Hldgs. (NYSE:LH), Clarient, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLRT), Psychemedics Corp. (NASDAQ:PMD), Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRLI), MEDTOX Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTOX), Celera Corporation (NASDAQ:CRA), Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ), Orchid Cellmark, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORCH) and RadNet Inc. (NASDAQ:RDNT).