Healthcare Business

Pfizer’s Profits Rise on Lower Revenues

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported second-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.62 and $15.06 billion in revenue this morning. Adjusted EPS was up from $0.59 in the same period a year ago, while revenue was down from $16.49 billion, a drop of 9%. The results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.54 and $14.87 billion in revenue.

The drugmaker offered full-year guidance for adjusted EPS of $2.14 to $2.24 and full-year revenue of $58 billion to $60 billion. The guidance assumes that currency exchange rates will remain the same for the rest of the year.

The company’s chairman/CEO noted:

This performance was achieved despite the $1.8 billion, or 11%, negative impact on revenues of product losses of exclusivity compared with the year-ago period, primarily Lipitor in most major markets.

The loss of patent protection has hit many drug makers hard this year, and Lipitor, the world’s biggest seller, was no exception. The company’s revenue drop clearly demonstrates the impact. So how did Pfizer post such a large adjusted earnings boost? The company lowered costs by 16%, or $1.6 billion, and a share buyback took 398 million shares off the market. The company also was able to add $581 million to its adjusted EPS from discontinued operations.

Pfizer said that it intends to file for an initial public offering of its Animal Health unit in August, with an IPO targeted for the first quarter of 2013. The company plans to offer up to 20% of an ownership stake in a new company to be called Zoetis.

Shares are up nearly 2% in premarket trading at $24.10, a new 52-week high if the price holds. The current 52-week range is $16.63 to $23.94. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $25.78 before today’s results were announced.

Paul Ausick