Pfizer Expects Wave of New Launches--Update

By Austen Hufford and Jonathan D. Rockoff Features Dow Jones Newswires

Pfizer Inc. revenue rose in its latest quarter as the drugmaker says it has turned a corner and expects more product launches in the next several years combined with fewer drug-exclusivity losses.

Continue Reading Below

Chief Executive Ian Read said in an interview Tuesday that the company is developing 15 drugs that could be approved for sale by regulators by 2022 and each could have sales surpassing $1 billion.

Meantime, Pfizer expects about $2 billion in sales losses due to patent expiries and generic competition during each of the next few years, compared with the roughly $5 billion in annual losses the company had been confronting in recent years.

"You get this nice inflection where you have two major positive trends," Chief Financial Officer Frank D'Amelio said in an interview.

Pfizer, based in New York City, had posted three consecutive quarters with revenue declines until the third quarter, when the company said revenues rose 0.9% to $13.17 billion.

Cancer-drug Ibrance and blood-thinner Eliquis notched among the quarter's biggest sales gains, while Pfizer said it had begun to feel the impact from an upcoming exclusivity expiration for male-impotence pill Viagra. Sales of the drug fell 20% to $308 million as wholesalers began destocking the drug in advance of anticipated generic competition starting in December, the company said.

Continue Reading Below

For the period, Pfizer reported net income of $2.84 billion, or 47 cents a share, compared with $1.36 billion or 22 cents a share, a year prior, though Pfizer said much of the favorable impact was due to one-time items like the sale of an infusion-pump business. On an adjusted basis, earnings were 67 cents a share, up from 61 cents.

Shares of the company were slightly down during trading at midday.

Pfizer cut its revenue outlook for the year but raised its profit guidance. It now expects full-year revenue between $52.4 billion and $53.1 billion, compared with $52 billion and $54 billion previously. It expects adjusted earnings per share between $2.58 and $2.62, up from an earlier forecast of $2.54 and $2.60.

In February, the company completed the sale of its global infusion therapy assets, known as Hospira Infusion Systems, for about $1 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month that it was exploring a sale or spinoff of its consumer-health business, which makes Advil cough and cold medicines, Centrum vitamins and other over-the-counter products. The business had $829 million in third-quarter sales, up 4% from the period a year earlier.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com and Jonathan D. Rockoff at Jonathan.Rockoff@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 31, 2017 13:35 ET (17:35 GMT)