Why Pfizer Fell Short in Q4

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Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) released its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The pharma giant said that it had $0.64 in earnings per share (EPS) and $14.0 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $0.63 in EPS and $13.91 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, Pfizer said it had $0.62 in EPS and $13.7 billion in revenue.

At the start of the 2019 fiscal year, Pfizer began operating in its previously announced new commercial structure, reorganizing operations into three businesses: Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group (PBG), Upjohn and Consumer Healthcare. The firm will provide financial reporting to reflect this reorganization in the first quarter.

In terms of its current segments, Pfizer reported:

  • Innovative Health total revenues increased 8% year over year to $8.85 billion.
  • Essential Health total revenues decreased 7% to $5.12 billion.

Looking ahead to the 2019 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $2.82 to $2.92 and revenue between $52.0 billion to $54.0 billion. Consensus estimates are calling for $3.00 in EPS and $53.54 billion in revenue.

In 2019, Pfizer anticipates quarterly dividend payments of $0.36 per share of common stock in addition to approximately $9 billion of share repurchases, of which $1.4 billion have been repurchased through January 29, 2019.

Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO, commented:

We enter 2019 with confidence in the competitive positioning of our businesses, the prospects for our recently launched products and product line extensions, as well as the strength and breadth of our research pipeline. Our focus remains on advancing science and innovation in areas that we believe will serve the unmet needs of patients and also create the most attractive opportunities for value creation.

Shares of Pfizer closed Monday at $39.53, with a 52-week range of $33.20 to $46.47. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $44.77. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 3% at $38.40 in early trading indications Tuesday.

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