(Reuters) – Shares of Johnson & Johnson tumbled 12 percent on Friday and were on track to post their biggest percentage drop in more than 16 years, after Reuters reported that the pharma major knew for decades that cancer-causing asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder.
The decline in shares erased about $47 billion from the company’s market capitalization with investors worrying about the fallout of the report as it faces thousands of talc-related lawsuits.
Article - Reuters - Years - Knowledge - Perils
“It is not surprising that an article from Reuters outlining years of potential knowledge regarding the perils of talc should agitate investors,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Joanne Wuensch said.
“This is not a simple matter, as there are more than 10,000 pending cases.”
Stock - Drag - Dow - Jones - Industrial
The stock was the biggest drag on the broader Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indexes and was among the most traded on U.S. exchanges. About 28 million shares exchanged hands by 1714 GMT, more than three times its 25-day moving average.
J&J was found to have known about the presence of small amounts of asbestos in its products from as early as 1971, a Reuters examination of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents showed.
Reuters - Report - Company
Reuters report also showed the company had commissioned...
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