3 Stocks Trading a Tad Lower Following the Release of Earnings

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Johnson & Johnson fell to $218 million (8 cents per share) vs. $1.94 billion (70 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 88.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 3.9% to $16.25 billion from the year earlier quarter. JNJ reported adjusted net income of $1.13 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.10 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $16.28 billion.

“We delivered solid results for 2011, built on the strong growth of our recently launched pharmaceutical products, and continued the steady momentum of new product approvals across all our businesses,” said William C. Weldon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our talented people are focused on bringing meaningful innovations to patients and customers to address significant unmet needs, positioning us well to deliver sustainable leadership and profitable growth in health care.”

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 Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for Quest Diagnostics Incorporated rose to $189.5 million ($1.19 per share) vs. $165.8 million (96 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 14.3% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 3% to $1.88 billion from the year earlier quarter. DGX beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.06 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.86 billion.

“During the fourth quarter, revenues grew 3%, adjusted earnings per share increased 19%, and cash flow remained strong,” said Surya N. Mohapatra, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO. “We continued to make progress in executing our growth plan and reducing costs. In 2011, we established a solid foundation of strategic assets and capabilities focused on cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and neurological disorders. In addition, we commenced a multi-year $500 million cost-reduction initiative and returned $1 billion in cash to our shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividends. Beginning in 2012, we are increasing our quarterly cash dividend by 70%, and today, we announced our Board of Directors has approved an additional $1 billion share repurchase authorization. We are well positioned for the future, and remain focused on increasing shareholder value.”

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).

Kimberly-Clark Corporation
(NYSE:KMB) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the personal products company fell to $401 million ($1.01 per share) vs. $492 million ($1.20 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 18.5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 2% to $5.18 billion from the year earlier quarter. KMB reported adjusted net income of $1.28 per share. By that measure, the company was about in line with expectations as the mean analyst estimate was $1.29 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $5.22 billion.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Falk said, “We delivered solid improvements in organic sales, adjusted operating profit margin and adjusted earnings per share in the fourth quarter despite a continued challenging environment. Reflecting on the full year, bottom-line results were somewhat below our original goal for the year, mostly due to higher-than-expected cost inflation and soft demand in portions of the developed markets.”

Competitors to Watch: The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG), Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH), Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), Clorox (NYSE:CLX), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Zep (NYSE:ZEP) and Avon Products (NYSE:AVP)..

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com