Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported their most recent quarterly results before the opening bell Tuesday. Although markets appear to be recovering, investors were not thrilled about this quarter for these two pharmaceutical giants.
When Pfizer reported its first-quarter results, the drugmaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.80 on revenues of $12.0 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.85 on revenues of $12.99 billion. Quarterly results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.73 and $11.87 billion in revenues.
For the latest quarter, the company saw 12% operational growth from its biopharma segment. Separately, Upjohn saw a 37% operational decline.
As for 2020 full-year guidance, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $2.82 to $2.92 and revenue between $48.5 billion and $50.5 billion. Consensus estimates are calling for $2.86 in EPS and $49.33 billion in revenue for the full year.
Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO, commented:
We are fully committed to confronting the public health challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by collaborating with industry partners and academic institutions to develop potential approaches to prevent and treat COVID-19. Our researchers and scientists also have been exploring potential new uses of existing medicines in Pfizer’s portfolio to help infected patients. We aim to leave no stone unturned as we explore every option to help provide society with a treatment or vaccine. I want to thank all of our R&D colleagues who are working tirelessly to find potential vaccines and treatments that could bring an end to this pandemic. I would also like to acknowledge the remarkable job that our manufacturing team has done throughout this crisis to ensure our medicines continue to reach patients in need.
Shares of Pfizer traded down less than 1% to $38.15 Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $27.88 to $44.56. The consensus price target is $41.14.
For its first quarter, Merck said that it had $1.50 in EPS and $12.1 billion in revenue, which compared with consensus estimates of $1.34 in EPS and $11.46 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.22 in EPS and $10.82 billion in revenue.
First-quarter pharmaceutical sales increased 10% to $10.7 billion, while, excluding foreign exchange, sales grew 12%. The increase was driven primarily by growth in oncology and vaccines, partially offset by the ongoing impacts of the loss of market exclusivity for several products.
Animal Health sales totaled $1.2 billion for the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 18% compared with the first quarter of 2019. Excluding the unfavorable effect from foreign exchange, Animal Health sales grew 21%.
For the 2020 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $5.17 to $5.37 and revenue in the between $46.1 billion and $48.1 billion. Consensus estimates are calling for $5.56 in EPS and $48.72 billion in revenue for the year.
Kenneth C. Frazier, board chair and chief executive of Merck, commented:
In this challenging and unprecedented time, the quality of our first-quarter performance reflects strong demand for our portfolio of innovative products, continued commercial and clinical execution and the dedication and resilience of our employees around the world. The fundamentals of our business remain strong. The COVID-19 global pandemic poses challenges to all of us, including serious threats to the health of people, businesses and economies around the world. Without question, our industry and our company have a unique ability and responsibility to help the world respond to this pandemic by working collaboratively to deliver solutions to coronavirus infection while also maintaining the supply of medically important products to those who need them.
Shares of Merck traded down about 3%, at $81.62 in a 52-week range of $65.25 to $92.64. The consensus price target is $95.72.
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