By Colin Kellaher

 

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on Wednesday expressed confidence in its top-notch credit ratings after Moody's Investors Service revised its outlook to negative from stable following this week's verdict in the Oklahoma opioid case.

Moody's, citing J&J's "excellent business profile and outstanding financial flexibility," affirmed its "Aaa" rating on the drug maker, but the agency also warned that opioid and talc litigation, along with rising regulatory efforts targeting drug pricing, could put pressure on the rating over the next 12 to 18 months.

An Oklahoma judge on Monday ordered J&J to pay $572 million for contributing to the state's opioid-addiction crisis, a verdict the New Brunswick, N.J., company will appeal.

In a statement, J&J said it was "pleased" that Moody's had affirmed its rating and struck a confident note on the issues the agency had flagged.

"As we have previously stated, Johnson & Johnson has strong grounds to overturn the Oklahoma judgment and we are in the process of preparing our appeal," the company said in a statement. "We believe we have the facts and the law on our side in litigation matters referenced by Moody's."

Johnson & Johnson shares were recently down almost 2% to $127.10.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2019 13:06 ET (17:06 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Historical Stock Chart
From Jul 2020 to Aug 2020 Click Here for more Johnson and Johnson Charts.
Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Historical Stock Chart
From Aug 2019 to Aug 2020 Click Here for more Johnson and Johnson Charts.