Why Pfizer Is Tripping Over Itself With Earnings

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Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The pharmaceutical giant said that it had $0.69 in earnings per share (EPS) and $13.3 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates of $0.75 in EPS and $13.53 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, it posted EPS of $0.67 on revenue of $13.17 billion.

During the most recent quarter, the company repurchased $1.1 billion of common stock, as well as $9.0 billion of common stock year to date. Pfizer now has its sights set on repurchasing a total of $12 billion worth of common stock in 2018.

In terms of its segments, the company reported as follows:

  • Innovative Health (IH) revenues increased 5% operationally to $8.47 billion, primarily driven by continued growth from key brands including: Eliquis (up 36%), Ibrance (up 12%), Prevnar (up 12%), Xtandi (up 26%).
  • Essential Health (EH) revenues declined 4% operationally to $4.83 billion, negatively impacted primarily by a 14% operational decline in the Legacy Established Products (LEP) portfolio in developed markets and a 17% operational decline in the Peri-LOE Products portfolio.

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $2.98 to $3.02 and revenues between $53.0 billion and $53.7 billion. Consensus estimates call for $2.99 in EPS and $54.15 billion in revenue for the year.

Ian Read, board chair and chief executive, commented:

We reported solid third-quarter 2018 financial results, with total company revenues up 2% operationally, driven by the continued growth of key brands such as Eliquis, Ibrance, Prevnar 13, Xeljanz and Xtandi, as well as biosimilars and emerging markets. The performance of these growth drivers was partially offset by product losses of exclusivity, a decline in Legacy Established Products in developed markets and ongoing legacy Hospira sterile injectable supply shortages.

Shares of Pfizer closed Monday at 43.23, with a consensus analyst price target of $43.11. The stock has a 52-week range of $33.20 to $45.81. Following the announcement, shares were down 3.5% at $41.70 in early trading indications Tuesday.