Why Pfizer Earnings Did Not Live Up to Expectations

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Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported its second-quarter earnings results before the markets opened on Tuesday. As Pfizer is a major player in the pharmaceutical industry, this earnings report is important in setting a direction that other companies can rally behind. However, health care recently has been in a downturn, and this was reflected in Pfizer’s earnings.

The company said that it had $0.61 in earnings per share (EPS) and $13.05 billion in revenue. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates had called for $0.62 in EPS and revenue of $13.05 billion. In the same period of last year, Pfizer posted EPS of $0.60 and $12.09 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, Pfizer acquired Anacor Pharmaceuticals as well as Medivation. Therefore, financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2016 reflect roughly three months of legacy Anacor and Medivation operations, which were immaterial.

At the same time, Pfizer acquired Hospira. Consequently, financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2016 include legacy Hospira global operations, while financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2015 include only one month of legacy Hospira U.S. operations but no financial results from legacy Hospira international operations.

In terms of guidance for 2016, Pfizer expects EPS to be in the range of $2.38 to $2.43 and revenues between $52.0 billion and $53.0 billion. The consensus estimates are $2.46 in EPS and $53.01 billion in revenue.

Ian Read, board chair and chief executive of Pfizer, commented:

Our business continues to perform well as demonstrated by the quarter’s financial results. Our Innovative Health business executed strongly behind the latest product launches, and our two recent acquisitions — Medivation and Anacor — are providing new near-term opportunities to potentially drive incremental growth for the business as its product pipeline continues to mature. We see this business as highly focused on those therapeutic areas where it is best positioned to deliver value to patients.

He continued:

Within the Essential Health business we continued to refine the portfolio with the announced acquisition of the small molecule anti-infectives franchise from AstraZeneca and the announced sale of the Hospira infusion systems portfolio to ICU Medical. In addition, later this month we will begin shipping Inflectra, a biosimilar to Remicade that will be the first biosimilar monoclonal antibody to be available in the U.S. We remain confident that we will be well-positioned in the emerging biosimilars market with our broad pipeline. With continued strength in emerging markets, the sterile injectables business and the biosimilars portfolio, we anticipate the Essential Health business will be able to transition to a modest revenue growth business on an overall portfolio basis.

Shares of Pfizer closed Monday at $31.71, with a consensus analyst price target of $38.74 and a 52-week trading range of $28.25 to $37.39. Following the announcement, the stock was down over 2% at $31.00 in early trading indications Tuesday.