Weak Prevnar vaccine, emerging market sales hit Pfizer

Thu Nov 1, 2012 9:19am EDT
 
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By Ransdell Pierson

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc reported on Thursday quarterly revenue well below Wall Street expectations, on disappointing sales of its Prevnar pediatric vaccine and a sharp pullback in emerging market revenue.

Results were also hurt by weaker-than-expected sales of Pfizer's Lipitor cholesterol fighter, which has been facing cheaper generics since late last year.

The largest U.S. drugmaker earned $3.21 billion, or 43 cents per share, in the third quarter. That compared with $3.74 billion, or 48 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, when the company recorded a $1.3 billion gain on the sale of its Capsugel business.

Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 53 cents per share, matching the average analyst forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Like many others in the third quarter, Pfizer was weak at the revenue line, missing (forecasts) by 5 percent," Jefferies and Co analyst Jeffrey Holford said.

"However, better-than-expected operational efficiencies in manufacturing and a lower-than-expected tax rate rescued earnings to an in-line result."

Global sales fell 16 percent to $13.98 billion, well below Wall Street expectations of $14.64 billion.

Revenue from emerging markets - countries whose fast-expanding economies are a mainstay for Pfizer growth - fell 2 percent to $2.39 billion as the stronger dollar cut into the value of sales. By contrast, emerging market sales had jumped 8 percent in the prior quarter.   Continued...

 
People walk past the Pfizer World headquarters in New York, February 3, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid