Pfizer Tops Sales and Profit Forecasts
Based on growing demand for cancer and other manufactured drugs in emerging markets, Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), the largest drug maker in the United States, reported better-than-expected third quarter profit.
Net income climbed $0.42 per share or $2.67 billion compared to $0.39 per share or $2.59 billion from the same quarter one year prior. On average, analysts expected $0.55 per share.
Although Pfizer’s sales dropped 2% to $12.36 billion due to the expiration of a longstanding deal with Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and competition for generic drugs, they surpassed Wall Street expectations of $12.24 billion.
Pfizer lost exclusive patenting on a number of its largest blockbuster drugs to include Lipitor, which brought in billions of dollars annually. However, company executives highlighted overall growth in emerging markets, up 9% in the current quarter.
Frank D’Amelio, Pfizer’s chief financial officer noted that he is pleased with the company’s third quarter 2014 financial results in spite of the ongoing negative impact from product losses and termination of specific collaborations.
Full-year earnings are expected to hit between $2.23 and $2.27 per share, an increase from the previous estimate of $2.20 to $2.30. Full-year revenue is predicted to be in the range of $48.7 billion to $49.7 billion.
Regarding plans for acquisitions following the company’s recent failed attempts to purchase rival AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE: AZN), nothing has been mentioned. However, under takeover rules within the United Kingdom, Pfizer can bid on AstraZeneca in November 2014 if wanted.
After a six-month pursuit and final offer of $118 billion to purchase AstraZeneca, Pfizer finally gave up. Initially, Pfizer hoped to combine the two companies and establish headquarters in Britain as a means of taking advantage of lower taxes, a move known as tax inversion.
According to Ashtyn Evans with Edward Jones, because of Pfizer’s anticipated lack of growth over the next few years based on expirations of patents, something has to be done, perhaps breaking the company up and going for a large acquisition.
Two weeks ago, US drug maker AbbVie also quit trying to buy Dublin drug maker Shire for $55 billion. This too would have been a tax inversion deal but due to new US Treasury tax rules, it lost appeal. As stated by Evans, now that the AbbVie/Shire deal fell through, there is a good chance that Pfizer will again bid on AstraZeneca.
Analysts expect that Pfizer will be challenged by generic rivals over the next four years for certain products like Celebrex used to eliminate pain, Lyrica, a nerve pain treatment, and Viagra, the popular anti-impotence drug. Combined, these three drugs alone pull in roughly $10 billion in sales, which accounts for approximately 20% of the total current sales figure.
During business development, Ian Read, chief executive with Pfizer said the company will depend on financial and operational efficiencies but also stay optimistic. He also stressed that last week the board authorized a new $11 billion share repurchase program over time.
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