Pfizer beat Wall Street expectations for first-quarter profit thanks to reduced spending on operations and legal costs, along with strong sales of key new drugs and longtime blockbuster pain treatment Lyrica.
But the top U.S. drugmaker had a disappointing revenue dip of 1 percent as competition hurt overseas sales of the immune disorder drug Enbrel. Sales of Prevnar 13, the top-selling vaccine in history, fell 7 percent to $1.4 billion.
Pfizer continued its aggressive pursuit of companies that can boost its sales and its pipeline of future drugs, completing three significant deals — two purchases and a sale — since January of 2016. That makes year-over-year comparisons rather muddy.
But the New York company on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit of $3.12 billion, or 51 cents per share, up from $3.04 billion, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 69 cents per share, two cents more than analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected.
The Viagra maker posted revenue of $12.78 billion in the period, falling short of forecasts for $13.04 billion.
Revenue from Pfizer’s patent-protected newer drugs rose 5 percent to $7.42 billion. Prevnar 13, despite the sales slump, remained Pfizer’s biggest seller, with $1.4 billion in sales. The company also brought in $1.13 billion from fibromyalgia and pain treatment Lyrica, which was up 7 percent, and $679 million from new breast cancer drug Ibrance, up 59 percent.
Sales for the Pfizer division that sells older drugs with expired patents fell 10 percent, to $5.36 billion.
The company benefited from a big jump in alliance revenue from its partners, up 82 percent to $656 million. That includes sales of heavily advertised clot-preventing heart drug Eliquis, which Pfizer sells together with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Pfizer Inc. reaffirmed its January forecast for full-year earnings between $2.50 and $2.60 per share, with revenue between $52 billion and $54 billion.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.
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Filed Under: Drug Discovery