Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Q4 2016 Earnings Call

Alex Gorsky – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

They want a modernized tax code

“…we also are advocating for the modernization of the US tax codes. As both sides in the aisle in the Washington have noted, the US tax code for business is outdated and in many cases makes the US a more costly place to do business leaving US workers and the US economy at a disadvantage. We are very encouraged by the proposals currently in discussion and we will support business tax policy that is competitive with most developed countries and encourages innovation and growth. 

..and they are confident it would spur growth

“so far, I remain very confident in discussions that we’ve had that ultimately we will make changes to the overall tax system that will be a stimulus for growth and that ultimately will help Johnson & Johnson and many other companies grow at an even faster rate going forward.”

Thinking of your portfolio as your children when divesting

“it’s always a difficult decision and when you look at your portfolio and as I frequently describe, it is little bit like your children, you love all of them just from time-to-time we are trying to make decisions that we think ultimately are in the best long-term interest of our customers, stakeholders and our shareholders and we think diabetes is clearly an area of a lot of unmet medical need….That being said, we do feel that based upon the broader market dynamics, particularly things such as pricing in certain areas has led us to the point where we say the right thing for us to do is to consider strategic options for these three particular areas of the business.”

Dominic Caruso – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

On the Affordable Care Act

We did not see any significant impact uptick in business as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Certainly there was not much of an impact at all in the Pharma business on our Device business because of the nature of the type of device products we have, we did not see much of an impact. So therefore, any change going in the opposite direction, we don’t think will be negative. We did see an impact in terms of the cost associated with the Affordable Care Act, but as we said before, we’ve incurred approximately $1.4 billion between the pharmaceutical fee, increased rebates et cetera even excluding the currently postponed medical device tax. So we’ll have to see when new legislation is announced, whether or not these fees and cost associated with the Affordable Care Act remain or if they are authored at any way. But those have already been incorporated in our business. ”