Johnson & Johnson's Fourth Quarter Sales Got Whacked By Currencies

Revenues at healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson were hit by big foreign currency losses in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“International sales decreased 6.7%, reflecting operational growth of 1.2% and a negative currency impact of 7.9%,” the company said in its fourth quarter earnings statement.

On Tuesday, shares of Johnson & Johnson were down about 3%.

US companies that earn revenues in foreign currencies are vulnerable to losses when the value of those currencies drop against the dollar.

The effects of the dollar’s surge in 2014 on the earnings of large multinationals is one of the key things investors are watching this earnings season.

The foreign currency impact on company earnings has come into sharper focus after last week’s surprise move by the Swiss National Bank to remove the franc’s cap against the euro.

Overall, J&J posted adjusted profit of $US1.27 per share in the fourth quarter on sales that declined 0.6% from a year earlier to $US18.25 billion. Expectations were for earnings per share of $US1.26 on revenue of $US18.55 billion.

Full-year sales increased 4.2% to $US74.3 billion.

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