February 26, 2021

Sales of Pain Drugs Help Pfizer’s Profit Beat Forecasts

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker, reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as sales of pain medicines offset declining revenue from expired patents.

Profit excluding some items was 60 cents a share, beating by a cent the average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue fell 0.9 percent to $16.98 billion, matching estimates. Sales of the company’s Lyrica pain pill and Enbrel arthritis medicine topped analysts’ predictions.

Pfizer is selling its animal health and infant formula units and trimming its work force to prepare for the loss in November of exclusive rights to Lipitor, the world’s best-selling drug, with $10.7 billion in annual sales. Pfizer has three late-stage experimental medicines that analysts estimate may bring in more than $3.5 billion annually by 2015.

“Investors are shifting their focus back to the pipeline, shifting back to the cost cutting and the share repurchases,” said Damien Conover, an analyst at Morningstar. “We probably have one more quarter where the divestitures will be of high interest, but people are going back to the core business.”

Net income rose 5.2 percent to $2.61 billion, or 33 cents a share, from $2.48 billion, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier, the company said. Pfizer reiterated its 2011 profit forecast range of $2.16 to $2.26 a share. It also maintained its guidance for 2012, the first full year of generic competition to Lipitor.

Shares of Pfizer, which is based in New York, fell 87 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $18.14.

Revenue at Pfizer’s animal health division rose 18 percent to $1.056 billion for the quarter, the company said. Nutrition sales climbed 4 percent to $493 million.

Sales of Pfizer’s Enbrel arthritis treatment rose 13 percent $914 million for the quarter. The pain pill Lyrica increased 19 percent to $908 million. Sales of legacy pain products, gained in March by the $3.3 billion acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals, added $357 million in sales, Pfizer reported.

Lipitor had sales of $2.59 billion in the second quarter. Sales will decline by half next year after generics makers flood the United States market with cheaper copies, according to eight analysts surveyed.

Pfizer’s most promising experimental drugs are its apixaban blood thinner, tofacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis and crizotinib for lung cancer. Crizotinib was accepted for priority review by the Food and Drug Administration, with a decision expected by the end of the year. Pfizer has said it will seek approval of tofacitinib and apixaban this year. The company is a partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb on apixaban.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=31c704fb1ad6913f01a7c68f65b6a5ff

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