It’s been a bad week for Johnson & Johnson, and it’s taking a toll on its market value.
First, there was the Reuters report about internal documents that showed the consumer health care giant knew the talc it used in its baby powder and body powder contained cancer-causing asbestos, which resulted in a more than 10 percent decline in its stock prices.
Then the company failed to convince a Missouri judge to strike a $4.69 billion jury verdict awarded to 22 women who claimed its talcum powder products contained asbestos that caused them to develop ovarian cancer. (J&J plans to file an appeal.)
The news Wednesday caused shares of Johnson & Johnson to drop another 1 percent to $129 a share, down nearly 13 percent so far this month. It is the worst month the company has seen since February 2009. The $4.69 billion verdict is a drop in the bucket to the more than $50 billion in market value Johnson & Johnson has lost since the Reuters article, and others just as scathing, were published.
Previous multi-million-dollar losses over J&J talcum powder products, the upholding of the $4.69 billion verdict, and slumping market value indicate consumers are beginning to think twice about the consumer health products Johnson & Johnson continues to market as safe enough for newborn babies.
The company faces more than 11,000 lawsuits that claim its talcum powder products like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.