Pfizer Sneaks By Earnings Estimates (PFE, MRK)

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Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE) looks good on the surface on its earnings report for the fourth quarter, but the company’s guidance may be getting in the way a bit.  The drug giant turned in results of $0.50 EPS on sales of about $16.7 billion.  Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.47 EPS.  The guidance and results are meant to reflect unfavorable changes in foreign exchange due to a stronger U.S. dollar. Today’s news will set up the trend for Merck & Co, Inc. (NYSE: MRK) earnings later this week.

As far as 2012 is concerned, Pfizer is targeting $2.20 to $2.30 earnings per share, which is slightly under prior targets and is currently compared to a Thomson Reuters consensus of $2.28 EPS.  The new 2012 guidance for sales is $60.5 billion to $62.5 billion versus a prior range of $62.7 billion to $64.7 billion.  The Thomson Reuters consensus is $2.30 EPS for this coming year.

The company noted:

  • Its Primary Care unit revenues were favorably impacted primarily by foreign exchange;  growth from Celebrex, Lyrica, Pristiq and Spiriva, among others; and the addition of $93 million, or 2%, from legacy King products…
  • Negatively impacted by the loss of exclusivity of Lipitor and Caduet in Nov-2011 and Aricept in Nov-2010; Together, those losses reduced Primary Care unit revenues by $775 million, or 13%, versus fourth-quarter 2010.
  • Emerging Markets unit revenues were negatively impacted by foreign exchange and increased pricing pressures.
  • Animal Health unit revenues rose 13% due to the addition of legacy King products as well as strong performance in the global livestock portfolio.

Pfizer has been trading up and down in the early hours of the pre-market and shares are up 0.3% at $21.65 on last look against a 52-week range of $16.63 to $22.17.

JON C. OGG