Pfizer Tops Expectations, Lifts Outlook

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The FINANCIAL — Pfizer Inc. on October 27 beat third-quarter expectations and lifted its outlook for the year, as the company benefits from new drug sales and folds in its recently-acquired Hospira business, according to Nasdaq.

Shares in the company, up about 9% this year through Monday’s close, rose 3.4% in premarket trading.

During the quarter, Pfizer completed its $16 billion deal to buy its smaller rival, which has transformed New York- based Pfizer into a leading player in the emerging market for lower-priced versions of costly biotech drugs.

The pharmaceutical giant, like many of its peers, has faced a string of patent expirations over recent years as well as growing generic competition for former blockbusters like cholesterol fighter Lipitor and pain pill Celebrex.

As such, Pfizer is leaning on new drugs to lift future sales. In the latest quarter, new drugs such as pneumonia medicine Prevnar 13, breast-cancer therapy Ibrance and blood-thinner Eliquis, helped drive a 13% increase in innovative product sales, or a 21% rise when foreign exchange rates are smoothed out. But a 16% decline in the established drug business, or an 8% decrease on an adjusted basis, largely offset that strength.

Overall for the quarter, Pfizer reported a profit of $2.13 billion, or 34 cents a share, down from $2.67 billion, or 42 cents, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, earnings per share rose to 60 cents from 57 cents. Revenue declined 2.2% to $12.09 billion.

Analysts predicted 51 cents in per-share profit on $11.56 billion in sales, according to Thomson Reuters.

For the year, Pfizer again lifted its earnings outlook, now expecting $2.16 to $2.20 a share, up from an earlier range of $2.04 to $2.10. The company now predicts revenue of $47.5 billion to $48.5 billion, up from its previous guidance of $46.5 billion to $47.5 billion.

The company said research and development spending declined 4% during the quarter.


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