In January 2003, Johnson & Johnson shareholders collected $0.92 per share in dividends while the stock traded at $57 per share. That was a yield of 1.61%. The P/E ratio of the stock was in the mid-20s, suggesting that Johnson & Johnson shareholders needed double-digit earnings growth otherwise there would be enough P/E compression to bring period of mediocre returns.
The latter happened. From 2003 through 2011, Johnson & Johnson had to work off the effects of high valuation, work through the 2008-2009 recession just like every other company, and deal with the effects of manufacturing recalls in the 2010-2011 years coming out of the recession.
Despite these issues, the core economic engine of Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical subsidiaries proved so strong that earnings still managed to grow from $2.70 in 2003 to $5.00 at the end of 2011. You didn’t have much to show for it in terms of … Read the rest of this article!