Pfizer Earnings Confirm Reasons for AstraZeneca Offer

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Drug giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported first-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Monday. The company posted quarterly adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.57 and revenues of $11.35 billion. In the same period a year ago, Pfizer reported EPS of $0.51 on revenues of $12.41 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.55 and $12.09 billion in revenues.

Pfizer’s unsolicited $106 billion takeover bid for British drug maker AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) has been the dominant company story of the past week or so. The impact on the quarterly report is that the company is barred by U.K. law from confirming or updating its 2014 reported diluted EPS guidance. The company has also withdrawn its previous reported diluted EPS guidance as a result of charges taken in the first quarter and will announce updated guidance “as soon as practicable.”

The company’s offer for AstraZeneca is the result of expiring patents and licenses and of a new drug pipeline that has few near-term opportunities to make up for the losses.

Pfizer did not change its 2014 guidance on revenues and other items. The company still expects revenues in the range of $49.2 billion to $51.2 billion and adjusted diluted EPS of $2.20 to $2.30.

The company’s CEO said:

Despite continuing revenue challenges due to ongoing product losses of exclusivity and co-promotion expirations, I look forward to the remainder of the year given the strength of our mid- and late-stage pipeline, the continued growth opportunities for our recently launched products as well as opportunities for upcoming product launches. Within both of our innovative pharmaceutical businesses and our established pharmaceutical segment, I continue to see attractive opportunities to pursue profitable revenue expansion, both organically and through prudent business development.

Pharmaceutical sales overall were down 9% for the quarter, including a 3% negative impact for currency translation effects. The expiration of certain drug collaboration agreements, the continued erosion of Lipitor sales, and the loss of exclusivity on other products led to the 6% drop in operational revenues.

Pfizer shares traded about 0.8% lower in Monday’s premarket, at $30.50 in a 52-week range of $27.12 to 32.96. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $34.20 before this report.

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